Sequoia Capital plans to fund up to three open source software developers annually, as a continuation of a program it debuted last year.

The Silicon Valley venture capital firm announced the Sequoia Open Source Fellowship last May, but it was initially offered on an basis that is invite-only a single person to shout about thus far. Going ahead, Sequoia is developers that are inviting apply for a stipend that will cover their costs for up to a year so they can work full-time on the project — without giving up any equity or ownership.


It’s no secret that open source software has a underfunding that is chronic, an undeniable fact that just appears to go into the popular awareness whenever a significant safety flaw like Log4Shell wreaks havoc in the pc software offer chain.

Volunteer contributors in many cases are the core force that is driving the building blocks of some of the world’s most widely used applications, typically having to fit their open source “passion projects” in between work that actually pays their bills. The wider world is generally fine with this arrangement until something goes awry, at which point governments scramble into action with executive orders and regulations belatedly thrust upon industry to make the software supply chain just that bit that is little powerful.

Such laws have actually forced Big Tech to collaborate around brand new money projects to guide designers behind several of the most vital source that is open components, while companies such as Spotify, Salesforce and even Bloomberg have launched their own grant programs too.

But These funding that is various don’t have a lot of to complete with pure altruism. The firms ponying within the money usually identify the source that is open they rely on most, and then allocate funds accordingly — it’s ultimately about protecting their own business, while also currying favor with a community on which they need on-side, and which they may even wish to hire in the future.

Slight return

So how does this all translate into the venture capital realm — why would Sequoia wish to fund software developers with no return that is financial its financial investment? Really, much like various other comparable resources available to you, Sequoia may well not stand-to recover its money right, however it does remain to profit various other ways — it’s a picture that is“big investment, not a charitable donation.

You only have to look at some of the businesses that Sequoia has invested in through the years to get an idea of where its head is at with this play — it has previously backed the likes of MongoDB (a $34 billion database giant that subsequently abandoned its open source roots) and Confluent, the company behind the source that is open system Apache Kafka.

“Open supply truly is just about the lifeblood of pc software these times — whenever you look underneath the covers also of proprietary computer software these days, it is extremely dependent on open-source libraries and open-source bundles,” Sequoia partner Bogomil Balkansky informed For Millionaires over mail. “Open supply is exactly what the planet works on, exactly what computer systems run using ”

More today recently, Sequoia backed source that is open PartyKit, which can be creating real time multiplayer infrastructure for almost any software, also available supply microservices orchestration system Temporal. Somewhere else, Sequoia additionally dedicated to Coana which, whilst not source that is open, helps companies prioritize vulnerabilities in their open source software stack.

But one investment in particular really shines a light on the purpose of Sequoia’s fellowship that is new. A year ago, Sequoia backed fledgling startup Pydantic, which can be trying to commercialize the favorite Python collection and source that is open framework of the same name, used by Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Meta and Microsoft, among other notable companies.FastAPIWhat’s interesting here is that Pydantic leans heavily on Sebastián Ramírez Montaño, an source that is open framework for creating APIs. FastAPI is made by last year, a Colombian pc software creator based away from Berlin just who became Sequoia’s inaugural (and hitherto just) Fellowship receiver

.FastAPI’s Sebastián Ramírez flanked by Sequoia’s Lauren Reeder and Bogomil Balkansky. Sequoia Capital

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What this shows is some source that is open naturally lend themselves to becoming fully commercialized entities, while others are more like Lego blocks that, while no-less important, are difficult to monetize directly.

“The open source world is to some extent divided between the projects that can be commercialized and the projects that are very important, very influential, but just simply can’t become companies,” Balkansky said. “For the ones that can become great companies, we at Sequoia have a long track record of partnering we will continue partnering with those founders and creators.”

And with them and this is the reason Sequoia is making two distinct monetary responsibilities to two different varieties of available supply organizations, utilizing funds to guide foundational tasks that could be instrumental to 1 associated with businesses it is taking a equity that is direct in.

“In order for Sequoia to succeed, and for our portfolio of companies that we partner with to succeed, there is this vital category of open source developer work that must be supported in order for the whole ecosystem to work well,” Balkansky added.Lauren ReederFrom today, Sequoia said it will accept applications from “any developer” working on an source that is open, with factors made on a “rolling foundation” continue. Funding should include bills compensated through equal payments enduring as much as a allowing the developer to focus entirely on the project without worrying about how to put food on the table.

“We year want to support source that is open plus the tasks which have real-world adoption,” Sequoia partner (*) informed For Millionaires. “A good deal of those designers are making an effort to stabilize their particular OSS (*) task in addition to a full-time as well as several jobs that are part-time in some cases. We want to fund the things that have the impact that is highest.”(*)