FAQ - How do you plan to make Penpot’s development sustainable?

Kaleidos Open Source, the company behind Penpot, has the resources and the team needed to do that. If Penpot really succeeds and demands more and more resources, a bigger team and a bigger infrastructure, we will need to find ways to monetize some aspects of Penpot. Many Open Source platforms have been very successful at that, without reverting to closing up the source code.

SaaS subscriptions offer a quite valid and straightforward business model on top of Open Source. We are also considering marketplace models à-la-Wordpress or big-enterprise-focused features for supported Penpot deployments à-la-Gitlab. No-bullshit Open Core models based on some iteration of a “Tax the rich” sound reasonable but we’re still unsure about what would make sense. At the moment, though, this is something we don’t plan to address until 2023.

If you would like to know more about our track record, just take a look at Taiga, our sister product, and its MPL 2.0 licensing model. It’s great to have first-hand experience.

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This was written before the Series A announcement so we will update this soon.

BTW, a lot of people seem to believe that it was the Adobe acquisition of Figma that made us raise this Series A when, in reality, we had made this deal back in February (you can’t make a deal like this in a week, it just doesn’t happen in this multiverse timeline).

I think this is important to note because what was relevant back then is still 100% relevant now, and that is that 1) Penpot will remain open source and free for ever and 2) we still don’t have a clear answer to how, specifically, we’ll be able to make a successful business out of this (open source Decibel included). What we do know is that we are allowed not to be distracted by this for quite some time.

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