Namma Yatri

An open source Uber alternative, the economic value of open source software, and FOSS Funders make it weird not to fund open source software.

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

  • Namma Yatri, the open source Uber alternative

  • Harvard researchers value open source software at $8.8 trillion

  • FOSS Funders make it weird not to fund open source software

  • Job opportunities at StackBlitz, Strapi, and Qdrant

Enjoy it, and please reach out if you have feedback or content requests for future editions.

🔍 Spotlight: Namma Yatri

Namma Yatri is an open source alternative to Uber, Lyft, and other ride-hailing platforms. It was founded by Indian FinTech Juspay, which also maintains the open source payment switch HyperSwitch (9k+ stars).

While Uber takes a whopping 25% of each fare, Namma Yatri has a zero-commission promise. It claims to build a “direct-to-driver open mobility platform” that cuts out the middlemen and only charges a low monthly subscription fee from drivers.

Namma Yatri has an open data page announcing that drivers completed over 23m trips and earned over $42m with its platform since its launch in January 2023. The app is currently only available in selected cities in India, but they plan to expand to more cities and eventually countries soon.

Overall, Namma Yatri makes a fascinating use case for open source. The open code base commoditizes the platform and prevents Juspay from charging a commission fee at some point (in this case, a 3rd party could launch a new competitor with zero commission again). Taking out the commission fee also improves the product for both sides of the marketplace: Drivers earn more, and users pay less.

If successful, Namma Yatri could become a role model to disrupt other established consumer marketplaces with high commission fees, such as e-commerce (Amazon) or housing (Airbnb).

Learn more about Namma Yatri: Website | GitHub | Twitter

📄 Harvard researchers value open source software at $8.8 trillion

Last week, Harvard Business School published a working paper about “The Value of Open Source Software”. The researchers used data from Linux Foundation’s Census project and BuiltWith to uncover how much open source software is used in digital products today and link this data to economic value.

Here are my favorite facts from the paper that show how important open source software is for the modern world:

  1. Open source software appears in 96% of codebases, and some commercial software consists of up to 99.9% freely available open source software.

  2. If all widely-used open source software would need to be created by society, it would cost us about $4.1 billion (“supply-side value”).

  3. If each firm that used an open source package had to recreate it from scratch, it would cost about $8.8 trillion (“demand-side value”). That’s the combined GDP of Japan and Germany, the world’s 3rd & 4th largest economies.

  4. Firms would need to spend 3.5 times more on software than they currently do if open source did not exist.

  5. 96% of the economic value is created by only 5% of all open source developers.

💰 FOSS Funders make it weird not to fund open source software

Even though the value of open source is tremendous, becoming sustainable is still challenging for many projects. It helps that more and more projects find monetization strategies (I will write about this another week), and investors also discovered open source as a hot area. Nevertheless, the majority of widely-used open source projects are maintained as hobby projects, and maintainers need to either fund them themselves or rely on donations from users.

In an effort “to make it weird not to fund free and open source software”, companies like Sentry, Sourcegraph, and Microsoft started an initiative to create an overview of open source funding programs - called FOSS Funders.

If your company sponsors open source software, you can add your logo with a simple PR to their GitHub repository.

💼 Work in open source

  • Marketing Specialist (Remote/US timezones) at StackBlitz Apply

  • Business Operations Manager (Remote/EST timezone) at Strapi Apply

  • Core Rust Engineer (Remote) at Qdrant Apply

Not a fit for you? Check out more opportunities at Trueup or ossjobs.dev.

If you enjoyed this week's post, it would be awesome if you shared it with a colleague.

Until next week,

Jonathan (@jonathimer)

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