Monetization via Paid Hosting

AKA: Open SaaS

The open-source software (e.g., a database or blogging system) is hosted by the maintainers and the maintained system has to be paid by users. Often leads to recurring payments for the hosted system, auto-update, prioritized support, or disk usage.


Variants & Options:



Characteristics Value Note
Effort to set-up Months Creation of a legal entity and platform/website
Effort to maintain Medium Finding new customers will become necessary
Cost to set-up Medium Will require a lawyer to setup the license and contracts
Cost to maintain Medium Will cause costs for resources, legal, and tax related stuff (but should be covered by income)
One-time Income N/A Probably only monthly payments meaningful
Recurring Income Medium Recurring payments per month or resource
Income Predictability High Clients want hosted version probably for several years
Full income Threshold 100+  
Recipient C  
Additional Work Medium Extra work to develop the SaaS around the OSS
Visibility Low Easy to overlook by users (esp. if they self-host)
Necessity to pay Low Might be attractive for companies (e.g., pay for support)
Entry Threshold Low Credit card is sufficient
Countervalue Hosting  
Scalability Medium Scales with the number of commercial or non-technical users (who do not want to self-host)
Effort for marketing Medium The convienience factor will help
Competitors O Other companies might host the OSS as well
Software types Special Best for larger software, databases, etc.

NOTE: External companies might offer similar hosting solutions and become competition.