The advent of the modern-day computing era has seen an unexpected and unprecedented boom in the use of electronic devices. The proliferation of the personal computer and the smartphone have resulted in billions of users having access to computing devices. These devices, made up of physical hardware and virtual software, have generated billions in revenue for technology companies. As a result, founders of software firms such as Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Oracle Corporation (NYSE: ORCL) have become billionaires, with software integration playing a crucial role in the manner in which another technology giant, Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL), operates and maintains a product ecosystem.
However, while Apple maintains strict control over its software and is notorious for cracking down on jailbreaking applications which let its users make unapproved modifications to their gadgets, other companies often make their software open source by providing the software code to repositories such as GitHub.
Given its vast nature, the exact size and growth of the software industry are hard to pin down. Still, some estimates are available which lay down the size and growth of the entire industry, the open-source services software segment, and the open-source segment itself.
For instance, renowned accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers evaluates the industry in the aftermath of the disruption ushered in by the pandemic. PwC outlined in 2020 that the pandemic stands to shrink the global software market to an expected peak growth rate of 7% from an earlier estimate of 9%. Highlighting that the slight downward revision is an indicator of the sector’s resilience, PwC also expects the sector’s earnings per share (EPS) growth to outperform the Standard & Poor 500 (S&P 500) benchmark index growth. The sector’s resilience is due to the uptick in enterprise computing in the wake of the pandemic, which saw companies shift to remote working patterns.
Data from ReserchandMarkets shows that the open-source software services market is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.75% to sit at roughly $67 billion by 2026. A report from MarketandMarkets, for the open-source services market, lists down a CAGR of 23.6% for this segment, mirroring the conclusion reached by ResearchandMarkets. Through this growth rate, the research firm believes that the segment will grow from $8.9 billion in 2016 to sit at roughly $33 billion by the end of next year.
Finally, a report from Grand View Research studies the entire software market. Its research suggests that the global business software and services market was worth roughly $390 billion in 2020 and was expected to demonstrate a CAGR of 11.6% through 2028.
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash
In order to determine the largest open-source software companies in the world, we have chosen to look at their contributions to the internet software hosting service provider GitHub. These contributions are made by employees with official email addresses. While other approaches which evaluate the firms based either on their market capitalization or revenues are tempting, in our opinion, the true metric is GitHub contributions, since they form the backbone of the open source space. So, let’s head over below and see which companies are the largest open source contributors right now.
Biggest Open Source Companies In The World
15. Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE: BABA)
GitHub Contributors By August 2021: 517 Active GitHub Contributors
Alibaba Holding Group Limited (NYSE: BABA) is one of the largest software companies in the world that has a presence across several markets. These include the retail segment which allows sellers to connect with buyers, individuals to connect with each other and businesses to sell their products to other businesses.
Data that reveals by the end of August 2021, Alibaba had a total of 1579 employees actively contributing to GitHub with 517 active contributors making it one of the largest open-source companies in the world.
14. NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA)
GitHub Contributors By August 2021: 586 Active GitHub Contributors
NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA) is the world’s largest graphics processing unit (GPU) company and it is often credited with inventing the GPU as well. The company’s prowess in technology has allowed it to expand its product reach from gamers to now include enterprise users, and leverage emerging trends in artificial intelligence and machine learning as well.
NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA) is also a major open source contributor, with data revealing that the company had a total of 1,224 GitHub contributors with 586 active contributors in August 2021.
13. Tencent Holdings Limited (OTC: TCEHY)
GitHub Contributors By August 2021: 617 Active GitHub Contributors
Tencent Holdings Limited (OETC: TCEHY) is another Chinese technology firm that is also one of the most financially valuable companies that trace their roots in the East Asian country. It has several subsidiaries with a presence in a variety of sectors such as digital commerce, video gaming, artificial intelligence and payment systems.
The company’s total GitHub contributors stood at 2,126 and its active contributors stood at 617 by the end of August 2021.
12. Oracle Corporation (NYSE: ORCL)
GitHub Contributors By August 2021: 658 Active GitHub Contributors
Oracle Corporation (NYSE: ORCL) was founded in California 44 years ago and it is currently headquartered in Austin, Texas. It is primarily a software firm that offers both consumer and enterprise grade products. It also offers its own hardware products and the software segments that the company targets include databases, developer software, file systems, cloud computing and consulting services.
Oracle Corporation (NYSE: ORCL) had 3,068 total GitHub contributors and 658 active contributors by August 2021 end.
11. Huawei Technologies (Private)
GitHub Contributors By August 2021: 667 Active GitHub Contributors
Huawei Technologies is one of the largest Chinese technology companies in the world, and it is popular amongst customers primarily because of a host of consumer electronics which its sells such as smartphones. The company also has dealings with enterprise customers and it is proving to be pivotal in China’s rapid adoption of next generation fifth generation (5G) cellular communication standards. Additionally, Huawei Technologies also sells laptops, tablets and wearables alongside internet subsystems.
Data that reveals by the end of August 2021, the company had 1,511 total and 667 active GitHub contributors, making it one of the largest open source software firms in the world.
10. VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW)
GitHub Contributors By August 2021: 825 Active GitHub Contributors
VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW) is an American firm headquartered in California which provides its customers with cloud computing and software virtualization services Its software target both the consumer and enterprise segments, and at the enterprise front, it offers software for the cloud and server platforms. Additionally, VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW) also offers a blockchain based solutions for its customers to store and record their transactions.
The company had 1,677 total and 825 active contributors on GitHub by the end of August last year allowing it to leap ahead in front of Huawei.
9. SAP SE (NYSE: SAP)
GitHub Contributors By August 2021: 850 Active GitHub Contributors
SAP SE (NYSE: SAP)’s platforms lie at the backbone of many of the world’s largest companies. The firm is known for providing enterprise resource planning (ERP) software to its enterprise customers and for providing solutions complementary to the ERP software which allow its customers to utilize copious amounts of data to generate sharp insights into their operations and businesses.
SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) had 1,695 total contributors and 850 active contributors on GitHub by the end of August 2021.
8. GitHub (Private)
GitHub Contributors By August 2021: 1,201 Active GitHub Contributors
GitHub, as it is evident from this piece, is an online repository for open source software. It allows developers to share their creations with the world and lets them solicit feedback from others. It has millions of users and ‘repositories’ which are used to refer to the collection of software on its platform.
While it is used by others to host open source software, GitHub itself is also an active contributor on its platforms. As of August 2021, the company’s active GitHub contributors stood at 1,201 and its total contributors were 3,069.
7. Meta Platforms (NASDAQ: FB)
GitHub Contributors By August 2021: 1,445 Active GitHub Contributors
Meta Platforms (NASDAQ: FB) is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world with billions of users using or having used its platform to interact with each other. The company is headquartered in California and it is also cautiously venturing into the consumer electronics sector by announcing devices that serve to enhance its users’ experience of its main social media platform.
Meta Platforms (NASDAQ: FB) is also one of the largest open source software companies in the world, with data revealing that by the end of August 2021, the company had 4,280 total and 1,445 active GitHub contributors.
6. Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN)
GitHub Contributors By August 2021: 1,883 Active GitHub Contributors
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) is one of the largest digital retail platforms in the world and over the years it has aimed to transform itself from primarily being a connection between sellers and buyers to an enterprise services provider as well. These services include the company’s Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform which targets the enterprise segment. Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) also targets the consumer electronics segment by providing products such as smart speakers and portable readers.
Its GitHub active and total contributors as of August 2021 were 1,883 and 4,730 contributors, respectively.
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Disclosure: None. 15 Biggest Open Source Companies in the World is originally published on Insider Monkey.