Open-source feature management platform Unleash snags $14 million

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Unleash, an open-source platform that gives developers more control over their feature management deployment and associated data, has raised $14 million in a Series A funding round.

Feature management has become a critical component of the Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) software development workflow, which allows developers to incrementally test new features with a small user base. This can include A/B testing variations of a new feature, or simply toggling a proposed new feature on and off to get feedback on what works and what doesn’t.

Ultimately, feature management is about helping companies ship code faster while minimizing the chance of annoying too many end users. Other notable players in the feature management space include LaunchDarkly, which hit a $3 billion valuation in August after a $200 million investment, and Split, which recently raised a $50 million tranche.

For its part, Unleash was born in 2014 from a Norwegian tech company called and released under an open-source license the following year. A commercial version of Unleash was launched in 2019, with co-founders Ivar Østhus (CTO) and Egil Østhus (CEO), who are brothers, deciding to step down from their full-time positions in 2020 to focus full-time on Unleash.

With Unleash, companies can configure their rollout strategies with what are called feature “flags” or “toggles” so that only a certain group of users – say 1% – will see a new feature in their app. This can be set, for example, by geographic region or a specific operating system.

Unleash: Configure a phased rollout strategy
Unleash: Configure a phased rollout strategy

In its short existence so far, Unleash has managed to land a handful of big-name customers, including Lenovo and US manufacturing giant Generac.

The open source factor

Similar to other open-source platforms, one of Unleash’s key selling points is that it offers greater flexibility in terms of integration into the broader enterprise technology stack. It also allows them to be in full control of their data through self-hosting – this is especially important when it comes to complying with the growing body of privacy regulations like GDPR or CCPA.

In addition to the open-source core product, companies can pay for additional support and services, including options for enterprise-class features and a fully-managed hosted offering.

Previously, Unleash had raised a $2.5 million seed round of funding, and with another $14 million in the bank, the company is well funded to capitalize on growth that has seen downloads skyrocket since 2019 548% to over 12 million. More specifically, (Egil) Østhus said the fresh cash injection will help scale its open source offering in the US and Europe – which in turn should help drive adoption of its commercial products.

“Unleash was created to give developers back the freedom to focus on building, testing and deploying software,” Østhus said in a statement. “Today’s engineers are constantly enmeshed with unnecessary processes that keep them from doing what they love most – experimenting with and developing software to improve their products.”

The company’s Series A round was led by Spark Capital, with participation from Frontline Ventures, Firstminute Capital, Alliance Venture and Arkwright X.

VentureBeat’s mission is intended to be a digital marketplace for technical decision makers to acquire knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and to conduct transactions. Learn more Open-source feature management platform Unleash snags $14 million

Chris Barrese

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