CollabNet Sells Stake To Former Competitor SourceForge

CollabNet will continue to offer centralized, project development software and has hired the developers, support staff, sales force, and field service team of SourceForge Enterprise Edition.

Charles Babcock, Editor at Large, Cloud

April 24, 2007

2 Min Read

VA Software is selling its SourceForge Enterprise Edition, a development hosting system for the enterprise that mimicked the popular SourceForge open-source project site, to a competitor, CollabNet.

"We needed to bulk up our external partnerships, expand the development team, and bring in new software assets," said Bill Portelli, president of CollabNet, in an interview. With the addition of SourceForge Enterprise Edition developers, support staff, sales force, and field service staff, CollabNet will total 200 employees, up from the 35 to 40 of four years ago.

VA Software will continue to offer the site, which hosts 146,768 open-source development projects for free and claims 1.6 million registered users. The sale was completed April 24 through VA Software acquiring an equity stake in CollabNet. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The sale marks a transition for VA Software from a mixed software and media service company into more of a Web-based media company. In addition to the SourceForge site, VA Software also hosts:, the news and commentary site for open source developers; ThinkGeek, a store for developers;, an open-source code download site;, an online site for news on Linux and open-source code; and, a technical and news site on Linux.

Portelli said CollabNet will continue to offer the centralized, project development software and has hired the developers, support staff, sales force, and field service team of SourceForge Enterprise Edition. At the same time, CollabNet will continue to see its own collaborative development tools, including CollabNet Subversion, a code-change management system, and CollabNet Enterprise Edition, a set of server systems for managing a project.

VA Software had about 200 customers for its development system to CollabNet's 100, although Portelli said CollabNet derived more revenue per customer.

"This is an accretive acquisition," Portelli said. It will result in no layoffs at CollabNet or reduction in value of the company, he said. VA Software and CollabNet have signed a 30-month agreement for VA Software to advertise CollabNet through its online services and forward prospects resulting from inquiries on its site.

Portelli said the acquisition of the SourceForge software assets means CollabNet will be in a stronger position to compete with IBM's Rational suite of development tools, which also offer collaborative development features.

SourceForge was the first mass project hosting site and has pioneered the software services that generated communities around code development projects.

About the Author(s)

Charles Babcock

Editor at Large, Cloud

Charles Babcock is an editor-at-large for InformationWeek and author of Management Strategies for the Cloud Revolution, a McGraw-Hill book. He is the former editor-in-chief of Digital News, former software editor of Computerworld and former technology editor of Interactive Week. He is a graduate of Syracuse University where he obtained a bachelor's degree in journalism. He joined the publication in 2003.

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