Open Collective
Open Collective
CryptPad funding status October 2020
Published on October 4, 2020 by Ludovic Dubost


It's been three months since our last status and a lot has happened despite our team members having taken some time to rest.

Most importantly, we would like to thank the supporters that have helped us pass several big milestones this September:

  • more than 500 individuals have supported us since 2018 through subscriptions and donations
  • there are now more than 200 active subscriptions on our flagship instance and 200 donators on Open Collective
  • monthly revenue from individual subscriptions and donations have reached 3000 Euros

CryptPad is increasingly popular among privacy-conscious educators, so we saw a temporary decrease in daily usage over the summer months. With classes resuming our traffic has again risen to three times more than immediately before the pandemic.

Since the beginning of 2020, more than 1 million IPs have connected to, with now 1 million pad accesses per month.

In addition to these very encouraging trends on our own instance, we're also pleased to see that even more individuals and organizations have chosen to host our software on their own servers. We're aware of nearly 500 active instances around the world with more appearing almost every day.

We see more and more tweets and toots, as well as articles recommending CryptPad around the world and would like to thank those promoting our Open Source project. Word of mouth recommendations are vital to the spread of Open Source and Free Software, and this organic spread lets us focus on improving the software. In particular, a number of articles over the summer seem to have driven increased adoption in the USA and a variety of Spanish-speaking countries.

18 month ago, our funding from BPI France had ended, and while we believed strongly in our product, we did not yet know how to fund it. Today we are largely funded by research grants such as NLnet's NGI PET Zero, NGI TRUST, and the Mozilla Open Source Sustainability fund. Support from these organizations has been critical to CryptPad's continued full-time development, but we can't rely on them forever.

These recent milestones represent a turning point for our project, as revenue from subscriptions and donations grow to become a significant portion of our monthly budget we're able to adjust our roadmap and respond to unexpected requirements more easily. The ratio of subscribers to users has been fairly consistent, leading us to believe that if we quadruple our user base it should lead us very close to sustainability. From there we can start growing as an independent Open Source business.

We believe everyone deserves privacy, not just those fortunate enough to be able to pay for it. The education community in particular has represented a disproportionately large amount of our traffic for the revenue it has directly generated, but it's been extremely rewarding to help normalize privacy in the context of online learning, and their positive reviews seem to have more than made up for our increased storage costs. We trust our community understand the importance of funding our project when they can. Since we've been able to continue to grow financially at the same rate as our number of total users, we have decided to keep the 1GB limit (up from 50Mb) for all existing and new free accounts. We will only reconsider this for future new accounts if infrastructure costs become an issue.

On the development side, there have been 4 releases during the summer, with many improvements to Kanban, Code, Slides and user drives completed as a part of our NLnet-funded Communities project. The next batch of releases leading up to v4.0.0 will be tougher, as we're starting the CryptPad SMC project funded by NGI Trust to build a prototype mobile app.

Thanks again to our 500 donators and subscribers who support us and motivate us to provide our open source privacy preserving alternative to Big Tech.

Ludovic, for the CryptPad Team