10 Hot Open Source Software Companies To Watch In 2023
Microsoft, Red Hat, Google, MindsDB and Grafana Labs are among the hottest open software companies to watch in 2023.
From tech giants like Microsoft and Red Hat to smaller upstarts like MindsDB and Grafana Labs, CRN has found some of the hottest open source software companies you’ll want to keep an eye on in 2023.
These companies were chosen for their direct use of open source components or for their meaningful contributions to furthering the open source cause.
Some have attracted big money from investors. Others have made a splash with the community and see large numbers of contributors for improving their offerings.
[RELATED: 10 Hot DevOps Companies To Watch In 2023]
Open Source Software Companies To Watch
Open source continues to be an important part of IT. Red Hat’s recent “state of enterprise open source” report found that 82 percent of surveyed IT leaders are more likely to work with vendors who contribute to the community.
And open source tools continue to take share from proprietary ones, with 80 percent of surveyed IT leaders saying they expect to increase their use of enterprise open source software for emerging technologies. Almost 90 percent of respondents said they see enterprise open source as more secure or equal to proprietary software.
Read on for whom we consider the hottest open source software companies to watch in 2023.
Microsoft And GitHub
GitHub is one of the best known hosts of open source software development projects, and parent company Microsoft is a major contributor on the platform.
In the 2022 Octoverse report by GitHub – based in San Francisco and led by CEO Thomas Dohmke – Microsoft was responsible for the project with the highest contributor count, with 19,600 contributors on Visual Studio Code code editor program.
PowerToys was No. 2 for the highest volume of contributor growth with 2,240 contributors. Microsoft’s .Net multi-platform application user interface (MAUI) framework for device application building ranked No. 4 with 1,770 contributors and Playwright framework for web testing and automation ranked No. 5 with 1,690 contributors.
On Microsoft’s latest quarterly earnings, CEO Satya Nadella revealed that GitHub reached 100 million developer users and called the GitHub Copilot paired programming AI tool “ the first at-scale” large language model (LLM) AI product on the market with a million users to date.
IBM And Red Hat
IBM subsidiary Red Hat bills itself as the largest open source company in the world, with popular open source products including Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), the OpenShift enterprise-grade application platform and the Ansible open source automation project.
The Raleigh, N.C.-based vendor, led by CEO Matt Hicks, ranked No. 7 from GitHub last year for highest growth of new contributors with 1,610 contributors on its Keycloak identity and access management tool.
This year, the vendor has already made news about expanding access to its open source tools, including expanded partnerships with SAP, Oracle and Google.
Arvind Krishna – CEO of Red Hat parent company Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM – also continues to champion the open source vendor as a growth driver, shouting Red Hat out on IBM’s latest quarterly earnings call.
Google launched one of the first open source program offices in the industry back in 2004, and it’s continued to support a variety of projects in the space since then – including investing about $7 million in direct funding to open source communities.
At 12,400, Google’s Flutter open source framework for multi-platform applications had the third highest number of contributors for a project on GitHub – after GitHub parent Microsoft. Its TensorFlow machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) software library ranked No. 10 with 4,400 contributors.
In October, Sigstore – which started as an open source collaboration between Red Hat and Google – launched general availability of the free, community-operated certificate authority and transparency log services, plus version one releases of the Fulcio and Rekor projects.
That same month, Google open sourced multiple components of its KataOS secure operating system and partnered with Antmicro on its Renode simulator and related frameworks.
In September, Mountain View, Calif.-based Google made its TensorStore C++ and Python library open source, according to a tweet from CEO Sundar Pichai.
Vercel is perhaps best known for maintaining the Next.js web development framework, which ranked No. 6 on GitHub last year for top open source projects with 5,900 contributors.
Based in San Francisco and led by CEO Guillermo Rauch – who founded the company in 2015 – Vercel made news in October with the acquisition of Splitbee to bring more analytics capabilities to its offerings.
Other major product updates from Vercel include enhancing preview deployments with the ability to comment on work in progress, added privacy controls across all Vercel plans and making edge functions generally available to give developers more flexibility regardless of user location and network speed.
Vercel also has a partner program for consultants.
Cybersecurity vendor Snyk ended 2022 with an eye-catching $196.5 million Series G funding round, but what also makes headlines for the company is its dedication to open source software.
Boston-based Snyk, led by CEO Peter McKay, is a supported provider of the Bomber open source software bill of materials (SBOM) vulnerability scanner, for example.
In January, Snyk announced new integrations between its own open source offering and ServiceNow Application Vulnerability Response. The same month, the company reported that in 2022 it saw six times the growth in projects monitored by Snyk Open Source, as well as seven times the growth in Snyk Code protected projects.
In October, Snyk unveiled a new native integration with Atlassian Bitbucket Cloud.
Snyk also has a partner program for channel partners, global service providers and other business models.
Builder.io offers a visual content management system (CMS) with many open source components involved.
Based in San Francisco and led by CEO Steve Sewell – who co-founded Builder.io in 2018 – the startup’s drag-and-drop editor is closed source but free to use and its application programming interfaces (APIs) are closed source and paid.
Image, text, columns and other built-in components of Builder are open source, according to the startup.
The 2022 Runa Open Source Startup (ROSS) Index by venture capital firm Runa Capital ranked Builder the No. 1 overall fastest-growing open-source startup last year.
The ranking is based on the annualized growth rate (AGR) of GitHub stars at the startups’ repositories. Builder scored 14,134 stars for a stars AGR rate of 968 percent. It also received 623 forks for a forks AGR of 1,528 percent.
Builder.io has a partner program aimed at ecommerce agencies and consulting firms.
MindsDB describes its mission as democratizing machine learning (ML) by giving users popular frameworks to bring ML to applications for new capabilities and to save on costs.
MindsDB is based in Berkeley, Calif., and led by CEO Jorge Torres, who co-founded the startup in 2017.
In January, Gartner named MindsDB in its “Cool Vendors in Data-Centric AI” report.
The ROSS Index by open source startup investor Runa Capital ranked MindsDB the No. 10 overall fastest-growing open-source startup in 2022 and the No. 3 fastest-growing U.S.-based one.
MindsDB scored 12,182 stars for a stars AGR rate of 189 percent. It also received 1,417 forks for a forks AGR of 204 percent.
In November, MindsDB revealed that it has more than 70 technology and data integrations, including Google Big Query, Hewlett Packard Vertica, IBM Informix, Intel, Amazon Web Services Redshift, Databricks, Shopify, MariaDB, Microsoft Visual Studio and MongoDB.
The San Francisco-based company, led by CEO Melody Meckfessel, promotes reusing open source notebooks published by others to get the most out of the tool.
At the start of 2022, Observable raised a $35.6 million Series B round of funding led by Menlo Ventures. Sequoia Capital and Acrew Capital participated.
Since then, Observable has deepened integrations with the likes of MongoDB, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle and Databricks. The company also added more capabilities around sorting and filtering, notebook version pausing, data tables and more.
Before she co-founded Observable, Meckfessel was a vice president of engineering at Google, where she worked for more than 14 years, according to her LinkedIn account.
Grafana Labs offers an open observability platform for monitoring and analyzing databases.
The New York-based company, led by CEO Raj Dutt, offers a variety of open source projects including Grafana Loki for logging, Grafana Tempo for traces and Grafana Mimir for metrics.
The company also has a partner program for integrators, original equipment manufacturers, channel partners and other business types.
Before he co-founded Grafana in 2014, Dutt worked in the channel. He worked at Internap (INAP) – No. 85 on CRN’s 2022 Solution Provider 500 – for more than two years, leaving in 2014 as senior vice president of technology.
Dutt joined INAP through the acquisition of Voxel, an enterprise cloud and hosting provider he founded and led, for $30 million.
Strata Identity started the year with a $26 million Series B round of funding to scale sales, marketing, customer success and go-to-market activities for its distributed multi-cloud identity orchestration tools.
New investor Telstra Ventures participated in the round along with existing investors Menlo Ventures and ForgePoint Capital.
The Boulder, Colo.-based startup’s founders – including CEO Eric Olden – co-created the Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) open standard for authentication and authorization and delivered the first open-source identity products.
The startup’s leaders aren’t resting on their laurels, though. In May, Strata made the Identity Query Language (IDQL) open source project available for users to apply consistent access policy across any applications on any cloud. IDQL works with Hexa, an open source reference implementation.
Strata has a partner program aimed at resellers, managed service providers and other partner types.
Before he co-founded the startup, Olden worked at Oracle for more than a year. He left the vendor in 2019 with the title of senior vice president and general manager of cloud security and identity management.