Open source alternative to Qualtrics • - Gamification of open source contributions • Elon open sources Grok • New projects: bewCloud, Clarity Upscaler,, Midday • 6 new funding rounds

Welcome to a new edition of Open Pioneers - your weekly update from the forefront of open source. Today, we talk about:

  • Formbricks, the open source alternative to Qualtrics

  • - gamification of open source contributions

  • Elon open sources Grok

  • New open source projects for image scaling, business finances, temporary email generation, and personal cloud storage.

  • 6 open source funding rounds with about $177M funding

  • And links that I found interesting last week…

Since last week, we have welcomed 44 new Open Pioneers. 👋 If you like this week's post, it would make my day if you would share it with a friend or colleague.

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🔍 Spotlight: Formbricks

Open source alternative to Qualtrics

Today, we have another founder interview. This time I talked to Johannes Dancker (@jobenjada), co-founder of Formbricks.

Hi Johannes! What is Formbricks, and what problem is it solving? 

Formbricks is an Experience Management Platform built on the fastest growing open source survey infrastructure out there. We help teams big and small to measure how their customers experience their products and services. This data helps them make customer-centric decisions at scale to retain and grow their revenue.

How did you come to start Formbricks?

Formbricks is a baby of personal pain and coincidence: Before Formbricks I worked on a consumer app. It was awfully hard to reach specific cohorts of the 10k+ user base. We opted for a hacky solution with Typeform, which took too long to build and caused quite a UX break. 

On the other end of the world, Matti ran a startup for Experience Management in physical spaces (supermarkets, events, etc.). When COVID hit it eradicated their market within weeks. Shortly after, I saw a tweet by Peer (Co-Founder Cal) asking for an open source alternative for Typeform. I knew that Matti had already open sourced a survey tool, so we chatted about the opportunity of building a commercial open source company and then kicked it off by building Snoopforms - and the rest is history 😋

You launched „“ yesterday. Can you tell us why and what it is? is a gamified approach to handle community contributions. Most founders of COSS companies I talk to experience the same 8 problems. is a concept-turned project to help reduce the overhead of accepting community contributions while providing a better, more personalized experience to contributors. itself is a community-driven project from the get go. 

Yesterday, we found a Community Magician and a Head of Automation as founding members. We are still looking for a Designer, a Product Manager, and a Copywriter to bring to life. 🐣

Formbricks is currently having a launch week. Anything special you‘d like to announce here?

On Monday, we launched Advanced Targeting, which allows highly granular surveying of user segments (the tool I’d loved to have when we were building the consumer app). Tuesday was all about and attracting the right group of people to seed our community. 

Today we’re launching Multi-Language Surveys. Only enterprise-grade surveying tools offer multi-linguality due to the complexity of handling translations and survey data in multiple languages. Super excited to get this out to our community today!

What are 3 open source projects you look up to?

Twenty: Super excited about what Felix and team are building! The vision is really inspiring and a few months into the project, I can already see this getting real big 👀 The team keeps outshipping their competition at an eye-watering speed. I’ve learned a ton from Peer already and don’t see that changing anytime soon.

OpenBB: Even though they don’t really compete with Bloomberg Terminal, they’re fighting in the same cage with a giant. We’ve our own behemoth to wrestle with (Qualtrics), and we regularly peek over the fence to see how they tackle it.

Learn more about Formbricks: Website | GitHub | Twitter

👀 Elon open sources Grok

Elon Musk's AI startup, xAI, has open-sourced its chatbot, Grok, which is designed to be a more politically neutral and sarcastic alternative to ChatGPT.

Grok is a 314-billion parameter Mixture-of-Experts model trained from scratch by xAI, and its base model weights and network architecture have been released on GitHub under an Apache 2.0 license. The model is from a checkpoint last October and hasn't undergone fine-tuning for any specific application, such as dialogue.

Grok's open-source release comes after Musk sued OpenAI, accusing it of abandoning its original mission to benefit humanity and becoming a closed-source de facto subsidiary of Microsoft.

The move to open source Grok could be motivated by giving the public free access to experiment with the source code and create more transparency. However, one could also assume that is falling behind Microsoft/OpenAI in the race for AGI and is therefore trying to create a level playing field through open source. Meta has already demonstrated this with their Llama release.

🔥 Open source projects started last week

Cool projects that were created in the last week:

🦄 Fundraising news

Open source startups are on fire. I’ve counted 6 funding rounds with about $177M funding in the last week. 🔥

  • Together AI, a cloud platform for generative AI, announced a $106M Series A extension. [Link]

  • Defense Unicorns, an open source software provider for government security, announced their $35M Series A. [Link]

  • Lago, a Paris-based open source billing platform, raised $22M in Seed and Series A funding. [Link]

  • Guardrails AI, makers of a Python framework that helps building reliable AI applications, announced a $7.5M Seed round. [Link]

  • Polar Signals, an infrastructure monitoring and profiling tool, announced their $6.8M Seed Extension led by Spark Capital. [Link]

📚 More open source content

  • A proposal for a new definition of an “open-source” LLM and why no definition will ever just work. [Link]

  • What’s driving changes in open source licensing? [Link]

  • Why open source models could be the future of AI. [Link]

  • Open source grows up at KubeCon Europe. [Link]

🤡 Meme of the week


Until next week,

Jonathan (@jonathimer)