After a 6 month hiatus (for good reasons because we were fundraising and regulations don’t allow us to publicly solicitate), here is our latest investors update.

Dear investors,

TL;DR:

  • We raised $2M ($1.35M already in the bank; rest committed, awaiting wires)
  • 201 active collectives raised $40,572 in June (best month yet, May: 138 active collectives raised $30,280)
  • $2,029 revenue (our 5% commission)
  • 12% m/m growth in number of recurring donations (slightly below 15% target)
  • After an intensive period of capital raising, we are back into product execution mode
  • Aseem is taking a leave of absence till end of August (for personal reasons)

Investment Round

We closed a $2M investment round led by Bloomberg Beta. Funds already in the bank from Bloomberg Beta, Notation Capital, Semil Shah, and Jack Herrick. The remaining funds should follow soon. We’re immensely grateful to all our investors, and excited about our next phase.

Transparency remains a core tenet for Open Collective, so we’ll publish an updated list of investors, including terms, once everything has officially closed. If there is any information you’d like redacted, please let us know. The format will be similar to the current investor list in our FAQ.

Growth Progress

Total donations on platform increased 33% m/m to $40.5k (compared to $30.2k in May). For the first time, we crossed 1,500 recurring donations in one month. However, recurring donations grew 12% m/m — below our 15% target. We had several large one-time donations that spiked us to cross $40k. Fundraising took a lot of the team’s attention, but now we’re getting back into execution mode.

Focus

After many debates about whether we should double down on our early adopters — open source software projects — or go broader, we decided that the most important thing for the next few months is focus on one key metric: more money flowing through the system.

We have narrowed this down to three key product areas:

  1. Implementing tiers and rewards (similar to Patreon), which users can define to suit their needs. This will enable them to appeal to more backers, and inspire current supporters to give more. The effectiveness of a rewards dynamic has been well proven in the crowdfunding space, and our users are excited about a diverse range of offerings, from t-shirts to VIP product support to advertising packages.
  2. Self-service, self-hosting flow, so anyone can come along and start up a collective using their own existing bank account, without any direct intervention needed from our team. Until now, this process has required too much manual intervention. We need the experience to be frictionless.
  3. Research supporting additional payment types, including Apple Pay, PayPal, AliPay, MangoPay, and others that Stripe already supports but aren’t yet available to our collectives. We will make decisions about implementation once we better scope this work, and validate demand in the market. Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for users to pay.

SustainOSS

We organized a one-day unconference on “Sustaining Open Source” in SF June 19th (at Github HQ). We had a great turnout, with 100 people from big tech companies (Google, Amazon, Paypal, Airbnb), open source foundations (JS Foundation, Linux Foundation, Apache Foundation, Python Software Foundation, Sloan Foundation,Mozilla, SFC) and core contributors of important open source projects.

Our main take aways:

  • Introducing money in Open Source is less controversial than we thought it was. Main issue is related to how.
  • Companies want to support open source communities
  • It’s easier for some of them to make in-kind donations
  • Need for accountability and respect for codes of conduct (to avoid PR nightmares)

The Numbers

June

  • Hosts: 72 (25 active)
  • Collectives: 540 (204 active)
  • Backers: 310 new, 1093 repeat
  • Transactions: 1,802 (includes donations and expenses)
  • Total $ added on OC: $140,521 (includes manually added funds by the hosts)
  • Expenses Paid: -$91,276
  • OC Revenue: $2,031
  • Total Hosts Balance: $701,759 (total amount of money that hosts hold on behalf of the collectives they are hosting)

News

We hope you enjoy the latest posts from our blog, and the revamped monthly newsletter that goes to all users and supporters (if you haven’t been getting this, please let us know so we can add you).