Tidelift doubles down on support for open-source enterprise app development

The basic principle of open source software is that the software is made available under an open permissive license, as defined by the Open Source Initiative’s Open Source Definition. However, open source software does not necessarily mean software available for free or for free.

That said, there is a lot of open source software that is actually freely available, where developers and maintainers have put in time and effort and have not been compensated. Open source is not just about complete software suites, but also about components and libraries that are often widely used and deployed in commercial enterprise applications.

“Tidelift fills an unmet need by connecting organizations that rely on open source with the maintainers who create the components they use every day,” wrote Larry Bohn, CEO of General Catalyst, in a notice. to the media. “The approach works because it tackles the acute problems of open source creators and users and brings these groups together on a common business and technology platform.”

General Catalyst is among those investing in Tidelift, which raised $25 million in Series B funding on January 7. Foundry Group and former Red Hat CEO Matthew Szulik also participated in the funding round. Tidelift has raised a total of $40 million in funding since the company was founded in 2017, including a $15 million Series A round that was announced in May 2018.

How Tidelift Works

Tidelift provides financial support and compensation to open source developers and project maintainers. This financial support is not entirely altruistic – it is also linked to a subscription to a professional support service that Tidelift offers to its commercial customers.

The Tidelift subscription also provides licensing information for open source software. Different open source software applications have different licenses with different rules and possible restrictions. Tidelift provides what it calls “legal warranties” that document the licensing status for a given app or tool.

Different open source components also often have dependencies on other projects and libraries, which can sometimes be confusing. To help organizations better understand how the components work together, the Tidelift subscription also offers a dashboard view showing all of an organization’s open source software dependencies.

Tidelift’s starter subscription with support for up to 25 developers starts at $1,500 per month.

“We have reached a crucial turning point for open source,” said Tidelift co-founder and CEO Donald Fischer. “Tidelift has built, and now we’re scaling it, a model that compensates open source maintainers to do their important work even better by connecting them to the many software development teams that rely on their contributions.”

Sean Michael Kerner is an editor at EnterpriseAppsToday and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.