Red Hat Backs Jaspersoft’s Open Source BI

Open source business intelligence (BI) vendor Jaspersoft has closed a new round of financing — thanks to backers that now include Linux vendor Red Hat, has learned.

The round marks the first time that Red Hat has invested in Jaspersoft, a company with which it also partners as part of its Red Hat Exchange program.

“Jaspersoft has closed a round of financing and we’re going to be announcing that all of our current investors have participated in this round and also added two new investors — a late-stage growth fund called Adams Street and also Red Hat,” Nick Halsey, vice president of marketing at Jaspersoft, told

According to Halsey, Jaspersoft’s new round of financing totaled $12.5 million, bringing the company’s total venture financing to $43.5 million to date.

Red Hat was not immediately available for comment. According to Jaspersoft, an official press release with a statement from Red Hat will be issued this week.

Once it does, it will confirm that Jaspersoft’s open source approach to the BI market may be paying off despite the down economy. The company had originally been founded in 2005 as a proprietary vendor, later becoming open source.

“We’re extremely pleased with our Red Hat partnership, and we want to be the best product to integrate with all of the leading open source solutions, and Red Hat clearly holds that position,” Halsey said. “Strategic investments from your OEM and technology partners is helpful. Last time we had a round of financing, we had SAP participate.”

While Jaspersoft, as a private company, does not publish its financials, Halsey said that having partners like SAP and, now, Red Hat join in financing Jaspersoft is a real endorsement of how well the company’s business is doing.

The new round of financing also comes as Jaspersoft is rolling out version 3.1 of its Jaspersoft Business Intelligence Suite. The new release is focused on improved data visualization graphics, according to Halsey.

“We’re extending our push around delivering better graphics and visualization because BI is becoming more pervasive in the market,” he said. “That means we’re reaching new classes of users who are not as comfortable with numeric analysis.”

“When BI was in the finance department, numeric display of data was fine, but BI is now being pushed out into the mid-market where line workers are using it more and more for their jobs, and we think that visual display of data is the way to go,” he added.

Halsey noted that in terms of competition, Jaspersoft is often compared against open source BI vendor Pentaho, but he sees the real market competition coming from IBM Cognos and Business Objects, which SAP purchased last year in a mammoth $6.7 billion deal.

“Increasingly, we see organizations wanting to compare a traditional proprietary BI solution versus an open source solution,” Halsey said. “If you’re comparing two open source solutions, it doesn’t map with how people look at it in the market. We seen more and more people thinking about open source, but it’s usually in comparison to what they’re used to, and what they are used to is the proprietary model.”

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