The best projects are the evergreen projects, the ones that keep you on your toes long after they’re launched and especially the ones that get developed by the best people.
Thus, after ten years since the beginning of this Kaleidos experiment to create our own company in July 2011, today we stopped being a digital product consultancy to fully focus our own venture on our own products: Taiga and Penpot.
This is not a surprise change. The origin of what we call Kaleidos Ventures today was based on a decision we took last year focusing on turning into a company 100% owned by the employees. However, nothing of what we are announcing today was in our plans a year ago. Back then, there was only one thing for certain, we wanted to have full autonomy so that we could evolve our company’s concept into an incubator model for our own products and yet keep our role as a technology third-party partner.
Saying good-bye to our consultancy projects and making our own company out of our two products —Taiga and Penpot— was all we needed to have everything we wanted Kaleidos to be.
Why did we decide to change the recipe of our business model focusing on our own Open Source products: Taiga and Penpot? Because with a pinch of a huge number of Taiga deployments across the world; a spoonful of Penpot hype; a cup of realisation that even if we could keep partnering with external clients, perhaps the biggest challenges were to be found inhouse; half a kilo of sadness about the previous model based on an incubator+spin off that’d lead to unavoidable departures of some kaleiders along the way… and a good dose of pandemic crisis that ironically forced us to clear our minds.
By saying goodbye to third-party projects and adopting our own company-products, Taiga and Penpot, we have it all now: the full team, certain diversification, the opportunity to change projects within Kaleidos and especially the challenge ahead to achieve a sustainable success with our commercial open source products for an audience not necessarily technical. For Kaleidos, Open Source software is a means to an end as well as an end in itself, therefore we can reach our vision without concessions!
Why is Open Source so important for us? We believe technology isn’t neutral —the existing technology as well as the one that doesn’t exist has an impact on our society. Access to technology is the first step but there are others such as transparency, community building, technology sovereignty, even our own collective innovation processes. Everything adds up to a positive net impact. Open Source software, by design, has a huge advantage over closed source software to fulfil these conditions.
However, open source software as such is a model. A model doesn’t create really cool products spontaneously. At Kaleidos, though, we have a permanent innovation culture based on our PIWEEKs (Personal Innovation Weeks). Twice a year, we have a week of creative freedom that has provided us with new perspectives and opportunities for experimentation. Ten years ago, we couldn’t have imagined that dropping our day-to-day projects for five full days would uncover so many surprises around the corner.
We are very excited to count on ATHOS Capital, CDTI Invierte and our business angels in our new chapter.
For this new phase we were loaded with talent, excitement and demonstrable results. Yet we needed a significant amount of capital to be able to invest in the development of our products and their commercial services, as well as an organised business growth. In the same way, ten years ago we teamed up with people who believed in us, our way of doing things and the goals we aimed for. To those business angels who got onboard with Taiga and Penpot back then, now we add ATHOS Capital and CDTI Invierte for a seed round of 2,2M€. We are very excited to count on ATHOS Capital, CDTI Invierte and our existing business angels in our new chapter.
We will have the privilege and the opportunity to be able to infuse, in whatever we build every day, our way of understanding creative and technical processes within digital teams: The realisation of design and development parity, development and design, via different tools built as a reflection of what Kaleidos team represents. We have strong opinions about what type of products truly help multifunctional digital teams and how to do so with open source and the engagement of a diverse and inclusive global community.
As it couldn’t be otherwise, we announce this new stage not only celebrating our Kaleidos’ 10th anniversary, but also our 20th PIWEEK (Personal Innovation Week). [Update July 28th] On a personal, note, now that our 20th edition is over, I’m excited to show you the tool I came up with alongside Ester and Andrey during our PIWEEK (one of 8 projects in total). In this PIWEEK I developed the backend for Exquis —an exquisite tool of collaborative surrealist design. Check it out with your friends or colleagues and see what creative collective drawings you can come up with!
— Read this post in Spanish —