SOURCE: Open Ocean

Open Ocean

May 25, 2011 13:01 ET

Open Ocean Launches Fund Three Focusing on Community and Open Source Software

Investment Team From MySQL's $1B Sale Is Seeking Disruptive Start-Ups in America and Europe

ESPOO, FINLAND--(Marketwire - May 25, 2011) - Open Ocean Capital (www.openoceancapital.com), the early-stage venture capital firm led by investors who closed the $1 billion sale of MySQL to Sun Microsystems (now Oracle) in 2008, today announced that it has just closed its Fund Three with approx. $60M (EUR 40 M) in capital in the first closing. The fund kicks off the first widespread outreach from the former MySQL team to founders and start-ups in Europe and beyond.

"With top level experience from product, community, and business development during the MySQL story, we are excited to offer start-up teams the funding and advice they need for embarking on a similar journey," said Patrik Backman, Open Ocean Managing Partner. "While we continue to focus primarily on European start-ups deploying community and open-source business models, we're open to hearing from all disruptive companies that are interested in changing the world."

The launch of Fund Three comes at an exciting time for the start-up and open-source communities. In the U.S. alone, 2010 saw $23.7 billion of venture funding go into 2,792 deals, a 14% increase in funding and a 13% increase in deals from 2009. Open source outpaced that impressive growth, as private investment in American open-source software-related vendors last year increased 18% from 2009 to $466 million, the third largest total ever.

Backman added, "It hasn't gone unnoticed by us that there's a lot of buzz right now around this kind of renaissance for venture capital. On top of that, we think it will continue to be an especially strong period for companies deploying community and open source business models. Businesses of all stripes can benefit from user communities to scale more efficiently, develop products at lower costs and maximize growth."

Open Ocean is also looking to set itself apart from the traditional venture capital fund by offering the same kind of active guidance to start-ups that shepherded the development of MySQL, culminating in its sale to Sun. Financially, Open Ocean's strategy is to start investments at approximately $1 million -- with additional performance-based rounds totaling up to $8 million -- usually translating to a 10-40% stake in portfolio companies.

About Open Ocean

Open Ocean is a leading early-stage venture capital company, with a particular emphasis on European start-ups deploying user community or open source business models. Open Ocean was the first major owner in MySQL AB, which was later sold to Sun Microsystems for $1 billion in 2008. Above and beyond many venture capital firms, Open Ocean is also able to leverage its direct experience as founders of MySQL to provide hands-on support to the management of companies receiving Open Ocean's funding. Open Ocean is led by partners Patrik Backman, Ralf Wahlsten and Tom Henriksson and by "community and open source wizard" Michael "Monty" Widenius, the original developer of the MySQL database and co-founder of the company MySQL AB.