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Linux Magazine: Red Hat Investor Funds Open Source Database Company

May 18, 2000, 08:07 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Robert McMillan)

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"In a month when the pundits have been taking swipes at open source, Landmark Communications -- the Weather Channel people -- surprised everyone yesterday by launching a company they hope will become the Red Hat of the database world: Great Bridge, LLC. Despite their low-tech background, Landmark does know a thing or two about open source. The media company's Chairman, Frank Batten, Jr. was an early angel investor in Red Hat. His 1996 investment of $2 million in Red Hat was worth well over $1 billion when the company's stock peaked last fall."

"According to Great Bridge's CEO (and former Landmark Chief Financial Officer) Al Ritter, the Red Hat experience prompted his company to look into other areas where open source could have an impact. Their answer: the Postgres database. Great Bridge is hoping to hire a number of the lead Postgres developers and build a still-to-be-defined business around this piece of the open source infrastructure."

"Linux Magazine: When Red Hat first approached Landmark for funding in 1996, the company turned them down. Did you personally take a pass on the Red Hat investment?"

"Al Ritter: Yes. This was in 1996. The only person who really got it was Frank Batten, Jr."

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