Investors Update — January 2019

Dear investors,

Investors Update — January 2019

Dear investors,

January was an excellent month for us. Money donated on the platform went up 230% m/m in total donations (as did our revenue). This was mainly driven by the $480k Stack Zero grant that Samsung Next disbursed through us. Read (and share) the Samsung Next / Open Collective Collaboration.

We are very excited about this as it’s opening the door for more companies to do the same. We are currently talking to Chrome for their Chromium Developer Fund. The added value is clear, these companies rather deal with one invoice, one wire transfer than having to send money out to several different projects / developers. Plus the transparency on how the funds are disbursed by all the projects creates much more trust.

Also, 99 new organizations (sponsors) were created last month almost 70% of which donated +$100.


As we mentioned in the 2018 update, 2019 is about building a new version of open collective that expands from Open Source but also keeps supporting and growing this space (small challenge!). In line with that, January and February are months to fix outstanding issues/bugs in the current version of the platform to decrease our support volume and free us to focus on what’s coming.

We shipped a new contribution flow that is much nicer and clearer. Feel free to make a contribution to a collective and try it out!

We launched the new gift cards feature publicly and available to all companies. We have already seen some good feedback on social media and FOSDEM


We started experimenting with bounties for features to be able to move faster and having a more diverse team of contributors that join us for a short period of time. Like open collectives operate! Oluwaseun joined us from Nigeria for a week and delivered a new github flow (will ship in Feb).

Xavier & me set our salaries 3 years ago at $80k/year. Always aware that they were very below market, we were doing it to keep our burn rate as low as possible. At the time we only had raised $500k. Both of us were also able to do this because we have savings in crypto that were giving us a good support. The bear market has changed our reality. That’s why we decided to raise our pay to $100k, which is still below market but which will give us a bit more breathing room while not impacting our burn rate too much (+$3.3k/month).

Becoming an Open Collective

We want to operate more and more as an open collective ourselves. In that spirit, we have created open collectives for the different teams: and The goal is to give those (sub) collectives a budget they can manage and enable them to increase the number of contributors independently.

Open Data

We have also released in Open Data all the transactions and expenses submitted on Open Collective to date. Everything is in


ESLint joined Open Collective! It’s a very widely used software and we are thrilled to have them.

Modus Create is giving a % of their profit to Open Source: Profit Sharing Creates Sustainable & Independent Open Source.

Red Hat made me a finalist of the Women on Open Source Awards. The award is decided by public votes. Read more and vote here!


Donations ($)

  • Total donations: $582,737 (+230%)
  • 3-month Avg total donations: $304,497 (+91%)
  • 3-month Recurring donations: $114,265 (+5%)

Num of donations

  • # of total donations: 4,616 (3% m/m)
  • # of recurring donations: 4,016 (+2% m/m)


  • Avg recurring donation: $30.62 (slightly higher than last month)
  • OC Revenue: $29,165 (+230%m/m)


  • Active collective: 598 (+1% m/m)
  • Active hosts: 60 (+7%)
  • Active Backers: 3723 (+1.4%)
  • Of the top 30 collectives by donations:
  • 17 collectives increased budget m/m
  • 9 decreased m/m
  • 2 stayed the same m/m
  • 2 inactive (raised $0)


  • Of the top 30 Sponsors by donation
  • 6 increased their contributions
  • 3 decreased
  • 14 remained the same
  • 7 are inactive
  • New Sponsors created: 99 ( +57%) from which 69 contributed +$100

Burn rate 30k (we spent $60k and we made $30k which was exceptional).

You can follow our burn rate and revenue in this public spreadsheet.

Monthly Leaderboard

Top Sponsors

Consider this when choosing where to work!

Samsung NEXT $360,000

AMP $26,700

Modus Create $25,000

Handshake $10,000

Trivago! $10,000

Creative Tim $6,524

Facebook Open Source $5,850

Heroku $5,000

Airbnb $4,376

Zeit $3,500

Top Collectives

by new backers

DarkreaderApp +56

Babel +36

Vue.js +35

Ionide +35

Top New Collectives

by donations

Hyper Star $70,000

Mapeo $50,000

Simply Secure $25,000

Best & thank you for walking this road with us.