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Open source vendor venture funding tops $4 billion

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From the 'Free Software =$$' files:

Since 1997 private investors have bet on open source related vendors and technologies.

How much has been invested in the last 13 years?

According to an analysis by The 451 Group, over $4 billion had been invested in 543 deals spread across 216 open source related vendors.

That doesn't sound like all that much to me, considering the length of time we're talking about. That said, the amount is still non-trivial and clearly shows that investors have an appetite for open source investment.

It's an appetite that seems to have picked up in the fourth quarter of 2010, with nearly $152 million raised during the quarter for a 74 percent increase on a year-over-year basis. According to The 451 Group, there were 16 funding deals in the fourth quarter of 2010 with an average deal size of nearly $11 million.

Overall 451 Group analyst Matthew Aslett reports that for 2010 private investment in open source related vendors hit $466 million, which is the third best year ever for open source funding.

In my opinion, it would appear as though the recession recovery is helping to fuel interest in open source vendors. There are also some clear winners that have emerged in the last years with vendors like Cloudera (backing Apache Hadoop) gaining both mind and market share.

It will be interesting to see if 2011 will continue the positive trend that 2010 started with increasing flows of capital moving to open source technologies.

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