BlazeMeter has become a real leader in making a professional version of Apache JMeter. We have heard through the grapevine that Blazemeter is trying to raise another $10M in addition to the original Series A of $6.5M and $1.2M of Seed funding. We wish them well because commercial backing can really help advance open source projects with additional development, and especially better PR, Marketing and Selling efforts.
We have a track record of being a part of other successful professional versions of open source projects with JBoss, Hyperic/Spring and CloudBees/Jenkins. I wrote about our JBoss Venture Capital funding in this blog.
All commercial open source companies have a basic business model of “monetizing” a certain % of the open source base. At JBoss in the early days we thought of monetizing maybe 2-5% of the open source installations. We also coined the term “Professional Open Source” for two reasons. First it meant that customers could work with a professional organization, but just as importantly the developers could become professional – not just a side open source project they worked on after hours. BlazeMeter does this by hiring JMeter guys like Andrey Pokhilko.
BlazeMeter has brought out important contributions, like their cool Chrome Extension for recording load testing scripts. Since this records the open JMX format, other tools like RedLine can also use it.
Some customers ask us if we compete with BlazeMeter, and our answer is NO! We each serve a role. We think customers can use BlazeMeter for the advanced features they have – producing better reports or integrating with other tools that we have not integrated with yet. RedLine can be used for when you need to do a lot of testing – either very frequently (like part of your CI/CD process) or when your tests need to be very large due to the very low cost of testing with RedLine.
Another way to think about how we position in the market is that BlazeMeter is looking to be used by the top 2-5% who can afford an enterprise priced product that supports an enterprise business model with $15M of capital invested that needs to make a big return. RedLine is built on a low cost, low overhead model where customers run the load tests on their own Cloud Accounts (hint: it might be more than AWS soon :-)). We hope to make a bit of money on the same 2-5% who may be BlazeMeter customers since our costs are a factor of 1/100th the cost and are a rounding error to add on to an existing large BlazeMeter customer. We also hope that we make load testing with tools like JMeter and Gatling or writing your own Node or PHP scripts so easy and cheap that there is broad adoption for the other 95% of people doing load testing.