OF OPEN SOURCE
At Oxx, we’re focused on partnering with the best scaling software teams.
Working with open source driven software companies presents a unique challenge though: how as an investor do you evaluate the pre-financial traction of an open source software project? How can one measure the activity of a community – the leading indicator of the explosive growth that open source projects can achieve?
The simplest answer would be the surface-level information readily available from the open source repos themselves: stars, forks, watchers and downloads. These metrics are often correlated with community activity, and they demonstrate some level of awareness of a project, but they don’t get to the heart of the unit of community activity: the engaged contributor.
That’s why in 2021 we shared a methodology for measuring not just awareness but of engagement with an open source project - a way of tracking "product community fit".
Rather than focus on surface level metrics, we reviewed repo logs for specific projects themselves and identified specific contributors and their activities. By looking at the engagement levels of these contributors over time, we could build a quantitative picture of the growth in engagement. We could identify the rising stars of the open source software landscape.
2021 Rising Stars of OSS: where are they now?
Having backtested our methodology for measuring open source traction on over 175,000 projects, over 15 years of historical engagement data, we developed a clear view on the leading indicators of open source growth.
ABOUT THE REPORT
Open Source companies operate in a unique ecosystem characterised by open collaboration, community involvement, and diverse revenue models. The open source approach to software development and business differs from companies that rely on proprietary software licensing models, and therefore working with open source driven software companies presents a unique challenge. These businesses often commercialise only when a product is more mature, already has significant user adoption and traction from an open source community of creators and users.
In capital raised
So, as an investor, is it possible to evaluate the pre-financial traction of these open source software projects? How can one measure the activity of a community – the leading indicator of the explosive growth that open source projects can achieve?
Each year, Oxx analyses the open source landscape, to identify which businesses in the open source ecosystem show signs of becoming successful, sustainable companies. We have developed a methodology that combines both awareness and engagement metrics for open source projects and allows us to identify high-potential projects before they reach significant scale. We look at "Product Community Fit", measuring the active creator base of a project as an indicator of engagement and future fundraising potential, resulting in our mapping of the “Rising Stars of Open Source”.
In raised capital
Having backtested our methodology for measuring open source traction on over 175,000 projects, over 15 years of historical engagement data, we have developed a clear view on the leading indicators of open source growth with the concept of Product Community Fit.
Historical data taught us that projects with accelerating engagement levels, entering the 50-100 active creators “zone” would be highly likely to commercialise successfully, and to continue to scale.
Data Analysis using BQ
Backtesting and historical data
Leading indicators of engagement levels
Enrich data with Github APIs
Selection of Rising Stars Cohort
Export and Evaluation
RISING STARS OF OPEN SOURCE 2023
Dive into the insights, explore the trends, and discover the potential of this year's high-potential companies.
For inquiries about methodology and analysis, reach out to Bob Thomas.
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