Monetizing Open Source with Value-add Products instead of Indemnified Distribution

Early stage startup innovating a new go-to-market model based on the open source project, sendmail, the MTA (Mail Transfer Agent) used to build the public internet email infrastructure. Funded by Band of Angels and Morgan Stanley.


  • Open Source
  • Developers
  • Email Server
  • System Administration
  • Identify target markets, brand and launch company and products, build awareness
  • Drive a technical-oriented volume transaction business model
  • Directed to keep the open source community “pure” and to not use their contact information for marketing programs
  • No one had done this before, the current “best practice” for monetizing an open source community was the Linux companies offering indemnified distributions
  • The dotcom era had created a noisy market with valuations being driven by advertising, press releases and buzz
  • Analyzed domains of open source downloads to model commercial markets using open source sendmail
  • Created large presence at open source, networking, internet and other technical conferences where target market congregated to engage and learn from attendees
  • Telecommunications/ISPs were using sendmail and had potential for large software and services deals
  • System administers at enterprises managing email communications at the firewall had potential for low price point, volume deals
  • Created community site to engage and establish credibility with open source user community
  • Engaged in large-scale outbound marketing communications campaigns encompassing PR, Advertising, events and email marketing to drive potential customers to website and inside sides sales team
  • Drove 80% quarter-to-quarter revenue growth achieving $15M in revenue in less than three years through 1,000s of transactions a quarter
  • Lead machine produced 500+ leads a week with some campaigns generating a 3% response rate

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