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Raj Dutt

Raj Dutt grafana.com

Grafana Labs is officially a unicorn

Grafana Labs announced a $220 million Series C investment round yesterday at a $3 billion valuation. I had Raj Dutt, CEO of Grafana Labs, on Founders Talk late last year — should I get him back on?

Congrats on the “B” Raj and team.

As with our previous rounds in 2019 and 2020, this funding will enable us to focus on accelerating the development of our open source observability platform and supporting the success of our community and our customers.

Here’s one example of how we’re pushing toward those goals: Earlier this year, we launched an “actually useful,” forever-free tier of Grafana Cloud that provides the industry’s most generous no-cost, fully managed observability stack, with 50GB of Loki logs, 10,000 series of Prometheus metrics, and 3 Grafana dashboard users included. Now, we’re adding 50GB of traces to the free plan, leveraging our Grafana Tempo OSS project, which recently became generally available for production use.

Raj Dutt grafana.com

Grafana, Loki, and Tempo will be relicensed to AGPLv3

Raj Dutt, CEO and co-founder of Grafana Labs:

Our company has always tried to balance the “value creation” of open source and community with the “value capture” of our monetization strategy. The choice of license is a key pillar of this strategy, and is something that we’ve deliberated on extensively since the company began.

Over the last few years, we’ve watched closely as almost every at-scale open source company that we admire (such as Elastic, Redis Labs, MongoDB, Timescale, Cockroach Labs, and many others) has evolved their license regime. In almost all of these cases, the result has been a move to a non-OSI-approved source-available license.

We have spent the first months of 2021 having sometimes contentious but always healthy internal debates over this topic, and today we are announcing a change of our own.

They’re switching to AGPLv3, which is OSI-approved, but like Heather Meeker said on our SSPL/Elastic episode, is often on the DO NOT USE list at large tech firms. Raj continues:

Ensuring we maintain these freedoms for our community is a big priority for us. While AGPL doesn’t “protect” us to the same degree as other licenses (such as the SSPL), we feel that it strikes the right balance. Being open source will always be at the core of who we are, and we believe that adopting AGPLv3 allows our community and users to by and large have the same freedoms that they have enjoyed since our inception.

Read the entire post for more details on what is being re-licensed, what isn’t, and what it all means. They also have a Q&A on their blog answering other common questions and concerns.

Founders Talk Founders Talk #73

Balancing business and open source

Raj Dutt is the founder and CEO of Grafana Labs. Grafana has become the world’s most popular open source technology used to compose observability dashboards (we use Grafana here at Changelog). Raj and team are 100% focused on building a sustainable business around open source. They have this “big tent” open source ecosystem philosophy that’s driving every aspect of building their business around their open source, as well as other projects in the open source community. But, to understand the wisdom Raj is leading with today, we have to go back to where things got started. To do that we had to go back like Prince to 1999…

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