Acquia, Supporting the Drupal CMS, Adds 200 New Customers
We've reported a number of times before on Acquia, which offers a commercially supported version of the open source Drupal content management system. OStatic runs on Drupal, and Drupal version 6 is expected to soon run over 240,000 web sites, with many large media companies switching to it.
In a post just yesterday, we discussed the proven business model of support and services for open source software that Red Hat has built, and how Acquia, Cloudera, Eucalyptus Systems, and other commercial open source companies are pursuing the same model. Until now, though, even though the company has gotten healthy venture capital funding, it hasn't been easy to tell how privately held Acquia is doing. Here are some new details.
Acquia was co-founded by Dries Buytaert, who is also the founder of Drupal. In this post, Dries discusses a new statement from Acquia, which announces that the small company has added 200 new customers in the past six months. Dries writes:
"As you might remember, Acquia opened for business in October 2008, less than one year ago. In less than one year, Acquia now supports over 250 enterprise customers across a wide variety of markets. In the last six months, we've quadrupled our customer base and now help support open source solutions in places where proprietary software once predominated. Places like The Economist, Intuit, WEEI, Sony Music, Adobe and more."
Just as Red Hat's support and services success is tied to adoption of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, JBoss, and other open source offerings, Acquia's success is tied to increasing adoption of Drupal. I've made the point before that--partly based on OStatic's success with Drupal--many online publishers should look into Drupal and other free, open source content management solutions. I expect that some publishers won't do so, simply because they are tied to legacy systems, but it makes a lot of sense to consider switching.
Meanwhile, Acquia is yet another example of how a business model emphasizing support and services for free software looks sustainable and promising. As open source projects continue to mature, we're likely to see more companies focused on that business model arrive, and attract solid venture funding.