Matthew Aslett is highlighting four open source startups to watch: Aptar, GravityZoo, Loopfuse, and Untangle. I've talked about Loopfuse and Untangle before, but Aptar and GravityZoo are news to me.
That's one of the great things about the commercial open source ecosystem right now. People can complain that there aren't enough (public) examples of success yet, but one of the great examples of general commercial open source success is that there are so many new companies getting funded and/or getting traction. This is a vibrant, growing ecosystem.
Growing in breadth, but also growing in depth. My employer, Alfresco, reported strong momentum in our last quarter (we basically double every quarter). But we're not alone. I'm familiar with the finances of a range of open source startups - SugarCRM, MySQL, JasperSoft, MuleSource, etc. - and suffice it to say that open source across the board is on a torrid growth pace. I expect several open source IPOs in 2009, and one or two in 2008.
It's a new market. But at the pace that it's exploding (by anyone's metrics, even Savio's ;-), it's just a matter of time until the safe choice - by any rubric - is open source.
In the meantime, I'm going to take a closer look at Aptar and GravityZoo. You should, too.