GC AMPLIFIED

Tidelift: Making open source work better — for everyone

January 7, 2019
BY LARRY BOHN AND THE GC TEAM
by
Larry Bohn
General Catalyst Team
Tidelift: Making open source work better — for everyone

Today we are excited to announce our Series B investment in Tidelift. We’d previously written about Tidelift when we made our initial investment in the company, and as we’ve watched the company grow over the past year, we’ve witnessed rapid progress toward its goal of making open source work better for everyone.

Over the past few months, Tidelift has been featured in Wired and other outlets and has surpassed $1m available on the platform to pay open source maintainers for their contributions.

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. This 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, the Tidelift Subscription.

A solution in this space could not be more timely. We’ve all seen the rise in security breaches (think Equifax, Heartbleed, and the more recent string of open source supply chain exploits). These only further highlight the need for additional innovation in a space we are already familiar with through our earlier investment in Black Duck.

Where Tidelift excels is that the company goes beyond simply identifying security, maintenance, and licensing issues. It works directly with the open source maintainers to solve these issues at the root before they turn into the next bad headline.

With Tidelift, organizations can gain more confidence in the open source components they use, and they can increase development velocity as well. Thanks to the help of the open source maintainers who back the Tidelift Subscription, professional development teams can reduce their internal investment in open source code maintenance tasks and instead, offload those tasks to the experts who know the code best. This leaves them more time to focus on the important work that drives their own business forward.

We think Tidelift is a brilliant solution to an important problem. It makes things better for teams developing software with open source components. It provides the incentives for open source project creators to keep maintaining their projects to a professional standard over the long term. Users get dependable software, maintainers get paid — it’s a win-win.

This answer can’t come soon enough, which is why we are so happy to be a part of helping Tidelift accelerate growth over the coming years.

— Larry Bohn & the GC team

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