Open Source Feature Management Platform Unleash $14 Million

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Unleash, an open source platform that gives developers more control over the implementation of their feature management and associated data, has raised $14 million in a series of A-funding rounds.

Feature management has emerged as a critical part of the continuous integration / continuous deployment (CI/CD) software development workflow, allowing developers to test new features incrementally with a small user base. This could include A/B testing variations of a new feature, or simply turning a proposed new feature on and off to get feedback on what works and what doesn’t.

At the end of the day, feature management is all about helping businesses send code faster, while minimizing the chance that too many end users will get upset. Other notable feature management players include LaunchDarkly, which reached a valuation of $3 billion in August after investing $200 million, and Split, which recently raised a $50 million tranche.

Unleash, for its part, was born in 2014 from a Norwegian technology company called and was released the following year under an open source license. A commercial version of Unleash was rolled out in 2019, with co-founders Ivar Østhus (CTO) and Egil Østhus (CEO) leaving full-time jobs in 2020 to focus all their efforts on Unleash.

With Unleash, companies can configure their deployment strategies using so-called feature “flags” or “toggles” so that only a specific group of users, say 1%, see a new feature in their app. This can be determined, for example, per geographical region or per operating system.

Unleash: Configure Gradual Deployment StrategyUnleash: Configure Gradual Deployment Strategy

In its short life to date, Unleash has managed to attract a handful of notable customers, including Lenovo and US manufacturing giant Generac.

The open source factor

As with other open source platforms out there, one of the main selling points for Unleash is that it offers more flexibility in terms of how it integrates with the broader tech stack of companies, while also giving them full control over their data. through self-hosting – this is particularly important in terms of addressing the growing array of data privacy regulations such as GDPR or CCPA.

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

Previously, Unleash had raised a $2.5 million seed funding round and with another $14 million in the bank, the company is well funded to take advantage of growth that has seen downloads soar 548% to over 12 million since the founding. More specifically, (Egil) Østhus said the new cash injection will help scale open source offerings in the US and Europe, which in turn should boost adoption of its commercial products.

“Unleash was created to give back the freedom to developers so they can focus on creating, testing and deploying software,” Østhus said in a statement. “Today’s engineers are constantly stuck with unnecessary processes, preventing them from doing what they love most: experimenting with and creating 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.

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