Venture

Tidelift Raises $25M Series B Just Seven Months After Last Funding

Tidelift, a startup focused on helping developers work with open source technology, announced today the close of a $25 million Series B round of funding just seven months after its last raise.

The Boston company has now raised a total of $40 million since it was founded in 2017.

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It looks like the same group that invested in Tidelift’s Series A also ponied up dollars for this round. General Catalyst, Foundry Group, and Matthew Szulik, the former chairman and CEO of Red Hat, co-led the financing. As our EIC, Alex Wilhelm, noted last year, Red Hat is a public open-source-centered technology company.

In a press release, Tidelift said it plans to use the funding “to accelerate the adoption of its new business model for open source.”

Tidelift’s key offering is a subscription product that runs $1,500-$2,500 monthly with an annual commitment, putting it squarely outside of the consumer and prosumer developer market.

Tidelift Subscription, as it is creatively known, is a two-part service. First, it provides “commercial-grade security updates, maintenance, and quality assurance” to developers using open source technology, per the company’s website.

“We’ve reached a crucial turning point for open source,” said Tidelift co-founder and CEO Donald Fischer, adding that “Heartbleed, Equifax, and the recent spate of open source supply chain attacks are all symptoms of a systemic under-investment in maintenance of widely used open source packages.”

“The stakes are now too high, and it is no longer an option to accept the status quo,” Fischer continued.

In a blog posted today, Fischer also noted that the company is hiring for a variety of positions across the company.

Last September, Tidelift announced it had over $1 million committed to pay maintainers for providing a standard set of security, maintenance, and licensing assurances around their packages. Since then, hundreds of packages have been added to the Tidelift Subscription, across the JavaScript, Java, Python, PHP, .NET, and Ruby language ecosystems, according to the company.

Larry Bohn, managing director at General Catalyst, said in a press release that Tidelift is filling “an unmet need by connecting organizations that rely on open source with the maintainers who create the components they use every day.”

“The approach is working because it addresses acute pain points for both creators and users of open source and brings those groups together on a common business and technology platform,” Bohn added.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias