Why Hasura’s Entry into Unicorn is a Major Milestone for India’s Open Source Ecosystem
Open-source SaaS company Hasura raised $136.5 million in its Series C funding round, bringing its total valuation to $1 billion. With this funding, Hasura becomes the latest entrant to the Unicorn Club. It also holds the unique designation of being India’s first open-source unicorn.
Operational data is heavily distributed across multiple sources. Developers often have to consume data in insecure and unauthorized computing environments. To remedy this, Hasura offers data APIs that connect multiple services and data sources. Hasura accelerates web development by eliminating data access bottlenecks for frontend and full-stack developers.
The company was founded by Tanmai Gopal and Rajoshi Ghosh in 2017. They first started in Bangalore but due to the growing opportunities they moved to San Francisco.
Gopal, who holds a dual degree (B Tech and M Tech) from IIT Madras, had established 34 Cross, a product development and consultancy company in 2013. In an interview, Gopal said that the establishment of apps was a frustrating process then and he wanted to give developers an easier route. He was soon joined by Ghosh. A graduate in computational biology from the National University of Singapore, Ghosh began her career in research before entering the world of entrepreneurship. 34 Cross soon to be closed.
Gopal and Ghosh then founded Hasura. A portmanteau, the name Hasura is a combination of Asura (mythological devil character) and Haskell (a programming language). In an interview, co-founder Gopal said the amount of data is exploding. Businesses want to derive useful insights from these massive amounts of data, but they often get caught in bottlenecks – compliance, security, and delivery. The other problem is the storage of this huge data. Some of the data is stored with a cloud provider, and some is open-source. Hasura makes it easy to access data from multiple sources. Users can make the most appropriate decision for their business using the technology of their choice.
An open-source engine, Hasura can connect to PostgreSQL databases and microservices in hybrid and multicloud environments. It then automatically builds a GraphQL API backend, making it easier for developers to build their data-driven apps on top of the unified API.
With the latest funding, Hasura will accelerate research and development and further expand global activities for the company’s GraphQL engine. With this, even inexperienced users can compose a GraphQL API from existing APIs and databases. “With this funding round, our investors and the Hasura team are doubling down on our vision to solve data access and unlock the next decade of developer productivity. We will meet the needs of our users by adding support for their preferred data systems much faster,” Gopal said.
India’s open source ecosystem
India’s open-source community is growing at an exponential rate. Last year, GitHub, which has more than 5 million Indian contributors, allocated Rs 1 crore to support India-based open source projects and contributors. Erica Brescia, COO of GitHub, said India is the fastest growing country when it comes to the number of new developers contributing to open source projects. India’s open source ecosystem dates back to the early 1990s, when several Indian Linux User Groups and Free Software User Groups were formed.
Over 85% of India’s internet runs on open source software. Institutions such as Courts, State Bank of India, LIC India, IRCTC, etc. rely on an open source ecosystem to scale their operations and deliver services. In 2015, the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), under the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, rolled out three policies related to open source – Policy on adoption of open source software for the Indian government; Policy on collaborative application development by opening the source code of government applications; Policy on Open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).
Hasura’s entry into the Unicorn club is a major milestone for the open source ecosystem in India.