43 Comments

Summary:

Identi.ca’s plans to build an open-source alternative to Twitter got a vote of confidence this week with an investment from the VCs at Montreal Start Up. While the amount of the financing wasn’t disclosed, Montreal Start Up Managing Partner John Stokes said the firm invests between […]

Identi.ca’s plans to build an open-source alternative to Twitter got a vote of confidence this week with an investment from the VCs at Montreal Start Up. While the amount of the financing wasn’t disclosed, Montreal Start Up Managing Partner John Stokes said the firm invests between C$150,000 ($120,135) and C$400,000 ($320,329) per deal.

A bigger question is why microblogging companies are getting any investment at all. If Twitter can’t find revenues with the vast majority of market share, why would an open-source version make money? Identi.ca founder and CEO Evan Prodromou says open source gives the company “commercialization options that Twitter doesn’t [have].” For example the company can charge a fee for public or private implementations, or be the basis for microblogs on other web sites.

Identi.ca has some other tricks up its sleeve, too. Their APIs are Twitter-compatible, so they should work with third-party features like search, hashtags and analytics. And it’s a federated model: You can run an identi.ca instance privately, or share messages with other identi.ca servers. That allows hybrid public/private deployments that may sit better with enterprise customers.

Yammer and Present.ly have gone after those enterprise customers, and Socialtext recently added a Signals function for employee messaging. But Identi.ca’s taking a different path. “I don’t want to be a tiny company where we get paid for 100 percent of the installs, but have a tiny base,” said Prodromou. “I’d much rather see tens of millions of installs, and make conversions off a relatively small percent of them.”

Nor is Prodromou fazed by the Twitter imitators. “I think we’re over the hump of the yet-another-micromessaging-tool wave of the summer of 2008,” he said. “The more people know about Twitter, the more entrepreneurs and CIOs there are looking for a platform like ours on which to build.”

You’re subscribed! If you like, you can update your settings

  1. I’m impressed by these guys. They obviously have a strategy moving forward, and unique vision for the future of microblogging. It’s refreshing.

  2. Technology news – Techvibes Blog Wednesday, January 14, 2009

    [...] GigaOM`s Alistair Croll is reporting that Montreal’s Identi.ca’s has received an investment from the VCs at Montreal Start Up and plans to build an open-source alternative to Twitter. While the amount of the financing wasn’t disclosed, Montreal Start Up’s mandate is to initially invest $25-50K in very early stage ideas and then graduate those ideas to their FounderFuel investment program which make investments between $200K to $500K. Identi.ca’s investment would have likely fallen between those numbers. [...]

  3. Identi.ca gets fresh aid in quest to out-message Twitter » VentureBeat Wednesday, January 14, 2009

    [...] to the people you care about? Tiny Twitter rival Identi.ca is trying to find out, and it has raised a small angel round to help it in that at least interesting pursuit. While Twitter has been gaining [...]

  4. Google open sources Jaiku today. http://is.gd/fWGn . Talk about blessed timing for Evan Prodromou! I bet Identi.ca’s VC would like its money back today!

  5. I am pretty excited to see what Laconica can do with the software and Identi.ca in particular. Identi.ca is still a long way away from Twitter but it has a pretty decent following. That being said Twitter has improved its service and, in the process, has addressed many of the issues that drove users away.

  6. I might seem to be a bit stupid, but why would a company need funding to creating another twitter? Twitter isn’t that complex of a program.

  7. Microblogging und Open Source | Tim Schlotfeldt » E-Learning Thursday, January 15, 2009

    [...] Identi.ca, mein derzeitiger Lieblings-Dienst, bekommt eine Finanzierung: »Identi.ca Gets Funding to Make Open-source Twitter Variant« [...]

  8. This makes me think of a Twitter version of Magento… open software replacing a close one and making good money on consulting.

    Jon
    http://Buzvia.com – Where’s Your Traffic Going?

  9. Congrats to identica team! it could be a private label solution for enterprises.

  10. Congrats to Evan and team!

    Jaiku only works on Google App Engine. Not many people use that dev platform. (But congrats to Jyri and his team as well! :)

    Identi.ca is not a Twitter clone. It is a microblogging platform.
    I remember the same sort of questions around the creation of Movable Type and WordPress: “Why would anyone want to clone Blogger?!”
    If they play their cards right, they could be a sort of WordPress of the microblogging market.

    cheers ;)

  11. Control Yourself » Investment by Montreal Startup Thursday, January 15, 2009

    [...] now official, as was reported in GigaOm (”Identi.ca Gets Funding To Make Open-source Twitter Variant“): venture investor Montreal Start Up is leading a small group of private investors in [...]

  12. » identi.ca gets funding, and a case of bad timing | StartupNorth Thursday, January 15, 2009

    [...] learned through GigaOM this morning that Montreal-based Identi.ca has taken a round of funding from Montreal Startup. I was, and [...]

  13. Alanagh Recreant Thursday, January 15, 2009

    This will be a massive success!

  14. please learn the difference between Identica and Laconica.

    Laconica IS the software that allows federated micro-blogging.

    Identica is it implementation done by @evan’s company http://controlyourself.ca/

  15. I never knew » Blog Archive » identi.ca Funded Thursday, January 15, 2009

    [...] to the identi.ca team, especially Evan for securing their funding, looking forward to what they have in [...]

  16. Great news for Identi.ca | this is mikel.org Thursday, January 15, 2009

    [...] that Control Yourself, Inc., the company behind Identi.ca and the Laconica microblogging platform, has taken funding from Montreal Startup. Congratulations to Evan and his [...]

  17. Exvisu — Great news for our office neighbours, Control Yourself, Inc. Thursday, January 15, 2009

    [...] that Control Yourself, Inc., the company behind Identi.ca and the Laconica microblogging platform, has taken funding from Montreal Startup. Congratulations to Evan and his [...]

  18. This is great news. I don’t question why this funding happened? Twitter is certainly ahead, but this market is just beginning. Also, enterprise will want to host this themselves. I think identi.ca can become the Ning of micromessaging spawning many communities. All good.

  19. Reuven Cohen, CTO Enomaly Inc Thursday, January 15, 2009

    I think their biggest threat in the open source “twitter-verse” will be the apache project “ESME” or Enterprise Social Messaging Experiment (ESME). A secure and highly scalable microsharing and micromessaging platform that allows people to discover and meet one another and get controlled access to other sources of information, all in a business process context. See > http://incubator.apache.org/esme/

  20. It is inevitible that the great success of Twitter will be replaced by other social sourcing. And this one sounds really hopeful in it’s multi-functionality. The main concern I have and I’ve said this before is digital security. Twitter has shown us that this aspect is critical.

  21. January 15, 2009 | next media update Thursday, January 15, 2009

    [...] Identi.ca Gets Funding to Make Open-source Twitter Variant GIGAOM Identi.ca’s plans to build an open-source alternative to Twitter got a vote of confidence this week with an investment from the VCs at Montreal Start Up. While the amount of the financing wasn’t disclosed, Montreal Start Up Managing Partner John Stokes said the firm invests between C$150,000 ($120,135) and C$400,000 ($320,329) per deal. A bigger question is why microblogging companies are getting any investment at all. If Twitter can’t find revenues with the vast majority of market share, why would an open-source version make money? Identi.ca founder and CEO Evan Prodromou says open source gives the company “commercialization options that Twitter doesn’t [have].” For example the company can charge a fee for public or private implementations, or be the basis for microblogs on other web sites. Source> [...]

  22. Financial Post(s) at Jeremy’s Blog Thursday, January 15, 2009

    [...] will still get funded, even in this economic climate. On that note, congratulations to Evan on securing funding for identi.ca. Evan is a great guy and identi.ca has a ton of [...]

  23. hmm i think an open source Jaiku kinda puts a spanner in the works. i like identi.ca but its just plain ugly.

  24. Bravo to Boris for the explanation to “Why another twitter clone?”

    Bravo to Evan and everyone for their work so far. Listened to Evan on LinuxOutlaws.com podcast a few months ago and while I wasnt too excited at first, I have gotten to appreciate what Laco/Identi.ca can bring.

    I like the fact that unlike Twitter, I can micromessage and spawn many communities (federation).

    We’ve talked about this at work and while there is not way that Gmail, Twitter and similar services would ever be used here.
    Identica/Laconica could allows us to run our own server and brand it too and control everything.
    It might not go through after all but definitely is something were going to be looking at closely.

    The upside is much higher than with Twitter and its free as in beer and free as in GPL/freedom.

  25. Paid Content : Control Yourself Gets Seed Round For Identi.ca Microblogging Service Thursday, January 15, 2009

    [...] Start Up. The exact amount was undisclosed, but Montreal Start Up Managing Partner John Stokes told GigaOm that the firm invests between $120,135 (C$150,000) and $320,329 (C$400,000) per [...]

  26. Boycott Novell » Links 15/01/2009: GNU/Linux Tops Windows, OS X Thursday, January 15, 2009

    [...] Identi.ca Gets Funding to Make Open-source Twitter Variant Identi.ca’s plans to build an open-source alternative to Twitter got a vote of confidence this week with an investment from the VCs at Montreal Start Up. While the amount of the financing wasn’t disclosed, Montreal Start Up Managing Partner John Stokes said the firm invests between C$150,000 ($120,135) and C$400,000 ($320,329) per deal. [...]

  27. Identi.ca Gets Funding for its Open Source Twitter Variant | google android os blog Friday, January 16, 2009

    [...] Identi.ca’s open source alternative to Twitter got a vote of confidence this week with an investment from the VCs at Montreal Start Up, reports Alistair Croll on GigaOm. "While the amount of the financing wasn’t disclosed, Montreal Start Up Managing Partner John Stokes said the firm invests between C$150,000 ($120,135) and C$400,000 ($320,329) per deal," he says. Identi.ca’s APIs are Twitter-compatible, and we reported on many of its advantages the other day, here. Check the GigaOm story for thoughts on how Identi.ca has an open source platform on which to build. [...]

  28. Control Yourself Rounds Up Seed Funding – DealBook Blog – NYTimes.com Friday, January 16, 2009

    [...] Go to Article from PaidContent.org » Go to Article from GigaOm » [...]

  29. The Walrus Blogs » Eff Citizens And Their Journalism » Web 2.0 Museum Friday, January 16, 2009

    [...] Hoda and Kathy Lee got on Facebook and are beside themselves about it. If you pitch investors and drop the Twitter-bomb the economic depression we’re in get’s blown to bits and money rains down. But does socializing [...]

  30. Montreal Start Up » 2008 Friday, January 16, 2009

    [...] We were aiming to do at least eight deals in 2008. Well, we did eight and another two are due to close shortly, so we’re good here as well. By the way, not all the investments have been announced yet, but some of you may have heard about the latest one. [...]

  31. The Twitter House That Jack (and Evan) Built May Be Taken Over By… Everyone : Ewan Spence’s All New Musings. Sunday, January 18, 2009

    [...] about searching on Twitter, the fund raising of both TweetDeck (an Adobe Air based client) and Indenti.ca (an open source micro-blogging platform that mirrors Twitter’s [...]

  32. Identi.ca Got a Facelift | Fred Brunel Saturday, January 24, 2009

    [...] recently got funding from Montreal Start Up. Great job [...]

  33. Twitter Said To Be Raising More Cash, Valued at $250 Million Sunday, January 25, 2009

    [...] though Identica, an open source twitter competitor recently raised some early stage capital, I am surprised that that Twitter hasn’t attracted more competition. It’s growth and [...]

  34. Twitter + open source = Identi.ca | Philippe.Scoffoni.Net Sunday, January 25, 2009

    [...] récemment, Control Yourself vient de recevoir une subvention d’investisseurs pour poursuivre le développement de [...]

  35. Twitter Said To Be Raising More Cash, Valued at $250 Million | The Click Monday, January 26, 2009

    [...] other investors are said to be interested in the company. Even though Identi.ca, an open source Twitter competitor, recently raised some early stage capital, I am surprised that Twitter hasn’t attracted more competition. Its growth and rumored [...]

  36. FanTrust » Blog Archive » Twitter Said To Be Raising More Cash, Valued at $250 Million [GigaOM] Monday, January 26, 2009

    [...] in the works. Several other investors are said to be interested in the company. Even though Identi.ca, an open source Twitter competitor, recently raised some early stage capital, I am surprised that Twitter hasn’t attracted more competition. Its growth and rumored valuation [...]

  37. Emerging Tech Talk » Blog Archive » Emerging Tech Talk #018 – Open Source and Microblogging Monday, January 26, 2009

    [...] this episode, host Dan York talks about recent news of Identi.ca’s funding (see also here) and Google’s move to make Jaiku open source (see also here): what they mean [...]

  38. Social Networks and Microblogging « Disparate Tuesday, March 3, 2009

    [...] been trying to do with some WordPress themes). In these troubled times, Montreal startup Identi.ca received some funding to continue developing its open microblogging platform.  Jaiku, bought by Google last year, is [...]

  39. Montreal Start Up » Web Startups in Montreal Friday, March 6, 2009

    [...] quietly announced our investment in Evan Prodromou’s latest startup Identi.ca. Having started both Wikitravel [...]

  40. MyPhillyNetwork » Would You Pay For A Twitter Pro Account??? Wednesday, March 25, 2009

    [...] Identi.ca Gets Funding to Make Open-source Twitter Variant (gigaom.com) [...]

  41. Encephalosponge » Monetizing Twitter Wednesday, April 15, 2009

    [...] It’s funny, but Identi.ca, an open source microblogging service very similar to Twitter, has a much more sustainable idea of how to make money in this industry. They also have a number of technical advantages, just not the number of users. It’ll be [...]

  42. Reading the post and the replies, you have to give credit to the guys from Twitter for creating the micro-blogging market.

    Identi.ca would have struggle to raise this capital if it were for Twitter creating awareness of the market in the first place.

    As micro blogging becomes an accepted practise, the demand for it to be incorporated in to business processes has certainly grown. We certainly have had to enable such functional inclusion into our software range.

    This need for integration could be a real market driver potenitall for Indenti.ca.

  43. Is Twitter Worth a Billion Dollars? | Technologizer Thursday, September 24, 2009

    [...] are open source alternatives cropping up, as well as start-ups like eSwarm that have applied micro-blogging to solve different [...]

Comments have been disabled for this post