Wednesday, January 16, 2008

It's a big day for Open Source

What a great day for open source. Sun announced their $1bn acquisition of MySQL and OpenAds announced that they had raised an additional $15.5m to further develop their free ad serving solutions for publishers.

When Index first invested in MySQL in June 2003, open source was a promising but by no means proven part of the mainstream Internet. Now less than 5 years later we are now living in a world where open source technologies and the LAMP stack are fundamental to the infrastructure and development priorities of any enterprise or fast-growing business.

OpenAds has been a major beneficiary of this same trend. Quietly developing over the years into a online advertising powerhouse, its software now serves billions of ad impressions at over 30,000 publishers in 140 countries and 20 languages across the web. We announced our investment in the business in June 2007 and have been thrilled at the progress made since then in both team and product development.

The $15bn database market is huge and fundamental. It also represents the technical underpinnings of the Internet as Jonathan Schwarz said today of MySQL it is "the root stock from which an enormous portion of the web economy springs".

But the global online advertising is forecast to be worth $65bn in 2010 and as several influential commentators are beginning to realize that puts OpenAds in a very interesting position. With a new hosted service making their software even more accessible to publishers, if you weren't before - watch this space.

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