SuSE wins fresh finance

Loses 120 staff

SuSE Linux, Germany's best-known contribution to the open source community, has secured E15m ($13.9m)in a new financing round.

But out go 120 staff, from a total roster of 500, to be laid off by the end of the year. This continues a "course of consolidation that started this summer", and will re-align the company along specific customer segments. SuSE has staff in five overseas territories, but most of its employees are based in Germany, and it will have to square the redundos through the workers council first.

If you knew SuSE like I know SuSE

Leading the latest round of investment is e-millennium 1, a VC fund. Apax Partners also dipped in. It goes to show that, if you have the right business, VC money is still available. But what the funding does not show is just how much equity the VCs got for their 15m Euros.A lot, we suspect.

Still, with new funds, SuSE is in a stronger position than most other commercial Linux distros. Stable finances and strong services are the key to survival, but relatively few distros will make the transition.

Red Hat has almost certainly booked a slot as a mainstay of the corporate IT department; Caldera and some way behind SuSE and MandrakeSoft, are also likely contenders. And then? The tail looks very short indeed. ®

Related link

SuSE new finance press release

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