CryptPad Funding Status January 2023
It's been since January 2021 that we haven't given a funding status to our community, especially to everyone supporting us on Open Collective. We are sorry about that. The reason is that we have been very busy working on European Union (EU) projects and also working to secure some larger funding for the years 2023-2026. We'll come back to that later in this post.
First some news about how 2022 went.
2022 Financial Status
From the financial point of view the year of 2022 is negative by €50k. So the TL;DR for this post is that you can help us cover the losses of 2022 in 2023 by donating on Open Collective.
On the revenue side, for 2022 we have been accepted for 2 grants of 50k each from NLnet through Next Generation Internet (NGI) Assure and NGI Zero Entrust, which is €50k less than last year. The special research tax credit, or Crédit Impôt Recherche (CIR) in French, for 2022 for hiring a PhD graduate gives us €40k for the last year. Subscriptions and donations have increased to a total of €59k (from €49k) for a total funding of €199k.
On the spending side we have increased spending on 2022 to €249k, through some raises, hiring Theo for the NGI Zero Entrust project and also hiring Mathilde and Arnaud to prepare the future, bringing the final balance to -€50k.
However during 2022 we have also worked hard to find some new funding for 2023,which is why we decided to hire anyway to prepare for this. This turned out to be the right decision, because just before the end of the year, we have received some funding to implement Diagrams inside CryptPad and also a 10K$ donation from a large company.
What did we do in 2022 with our funding
In particular we released version 5.0 with a new, more modern and minimalist design with rounded corners and simpler colors, but many other improvements and additions to all our apps.
Here is a summary of our achievements in 2022.
- December: new form settings, improved team drive onboarding
- October: new forum, repeating calendar events
- September: new features for instance administrators
- April: project website, public instance list
- March: INTEROFFICE project wrap up, bug bounty program
We also started the work on the CryptPad Auth project bringing SSO and MFA to CryptPad which is still in progress, and we published the CryptPad White Paper to describe the security of CryptPad.
2023 Funding & Budget
At the beginning of 2022 we have applied to a French Banque Publique d'Investissement (BPI) program called « Development of Cloud-based collaborative Office suite" ( Développement de suites bureautiques cloud de travail collaboratif ») in partnership with other French companies. We decided to join multiple consortiums, which have been successfully selected for the final validation step. We are now expecting the projects (unless there is a bad surprise) to be signed by BPI France at the beginning of 2023. We expect these projects to bring significant funding for 2023 to 2026 to CryptPad, but we cannot yet confirm those. The funding planned for BPI will include investment on the OnlyOffice components, on the integration with other platforms (including implement Open with CryptPad APIs), improve the Docker & Kubernetes deployment of CryptPad.
Secondly we are happy that we have now received a sponsorship from a state project in Germany, to develop a CryptPad Draw.io integration and provide a diagram editor and build an API to integrate CryptPad as an editor for NextCloud text and diagrams. The full extend and the scope of the funding is in finalization and still needs to be confirmed but we expect it to cover:
- the integration of Draw.io providing a professional diagram editor to CryptPad
- an integration API
- a Nextcloud integration to open and store CryptPad documents in Nextcloud
- the Docker and Kubernetes packaging
- accessibility of the general CryptPad UI, the text and diagram editors
- security work
We expect this funding to significantly accelerate the development of CryptPad this year.
Therefore, XWiki SAS has decided to anticipate the hiring in the CryptPad team to prepare for the growth in 2023.
For 2023, the budget will increase significantly with a larger team. Theo will finish his 6 month contract at the end of March, as planned, to start his PhD. We also hired Wolfgang, who has started in January to complete the team and allow us to prepare the projects planned in 2023.
Aaron the current technical lead of CryptPad will take a break from the project and leave us end of March 2023. He has already passed on the project leadership to David, now the technical leadership will be passed on to Yann. Aaron has been an incredible lead to bring the project to this status which allowed larger organizations to believe in this project.
With all this, before including the BPI projects, the budget for the team will be reaching €500k of spending and we won't have the extra PhD help we had for 2020-2022. This budget will not be covered only with subscriptions and donations, which we expect to be around €80k. We already expect €300k from the large German project, which would allow to balance the budget but not cover the loss of 2022. This budget only includes one new hire (Wolfgang) in the team and a part-time web developer.
With the BPI funding, we expect the revenue to reach €600k to €800k, which would allow us to accelerate hiring in the team, while being careful on long term funding of the team.
CryptPad funding over the years
You can see in this table the details of the funding of the CryptPad project inside XWiki SAS throughout the years
|Year||Total Revenue||Total Costs||Balance|
|Planned 2023 - Safe||505||495||10|
|Planned 2023 - Mid Level||685||630||55|
|Planned 2023 - Dream||905||835||70|
All data in thousands of Euros
Additional details about the source of the funding and the costs. As you can see most of the costs of the CryptPad project are the team salaries. Some additional costs cover structure costs for XWiki SAS (office, HR, activities, trips, etc..). In terms of revenue we can count of the subscriptions and donations which cover part of the budget and the french tax cut "Crédit Impôt Recherche" covering part of the salaries. The main part of our funding in the last years has been European Research Project in particular from the Next Generation Internet Program. As explained before, this should change in 2023 with the arrival of a large project from Germany and the French research projects.
|Subscriptions||Donations||Research Projects||Client Roadmap||Client Service||CIR*||CIR PHD**|
|Planned 2023 - Safe||60||25||0||200||110||110||0|
|Planned 2023 - Mid Level||60||25||200||200||110||90||0|
|Planned 2023 - Dream||60||25||300||300||150||70||0|
* CIR: Crédit Impôt Recherche Tax Cut
** CIR PHD: Extra Crédit Impôt Recherche for the first two years of hiring a PhD graduate
All data in thousands of Euros
|Number of Employees (Full-time Equivalent)||Team Salaries||Other costs||Hosting Costs|
|Planned 2023 - Safe||6||420||75||0 (*)|
|Planned 2023 - Mid Level||7-8||550||80||0 (*)|
|Planned 2023 - Dream||8+||750||85||0 (*)|
All data in thousands of Euros
(*) XWiki SAS is sponsoring the hosting and infrastructure management of the cryptpad.fr service as well as the development servers.
What does it mean for CryptPad
Overall, even if the budget for 2022 is not balanced and the budget for 2023 not yet completed, as we are waiting for the signature of the BPI Projects, this is incredibly good news for CryptPad. In 2022, we have continued to grow, securing funding for Single Sign-On (SSO, CryptPad Auth) and for documenting the Cryptography (CryptPad Blueprints). We have also seen an increased interest of CryptPad through the consortiums, for both the BPI and the German project. The promise of an end-to-end encrypted collaboration solution is becoming real. These projects are needed because the work required to achieve this is immense.
We just came back from FOSDEM where we had 3 presentations from our team and have been talking to the community, giving away CryptPad t-shirts to our users. Our stock went away quickly as we are happy to see that more and more people know and use CryptPad.
We are therefore optimistic that in 2023, it will be a great year of growth for CryptPad and that we will also be able to secure the funding for the following years. However over the long term we have not yet guaranteed the sustainability of CryptPad. For this we would need more recurrent revenue from subscriptions, donations and clients.
This also means we will have new hires during the year. If the CryptPad project is something that matters to you, check our jobs postings: https://cryptpad.org/jobs/
You can help CryptPad grow faster and be more sustainable
On the cash flow side, XWiki SAS has also done good sales and is able to cover the short term needs, though given the growth of both XWiki and CryptPad, we do expect that it won't be easy to hire as fast as we would like. This is why, although we do have projects coming up, the help of our community is more than welcome.
Beyond the need of cash to hire faster, it is still important to bring additional, independent funding to CryptPad through cryptpad.fr subscriptions or through regular (monthly or yearly) donations or through enterprise clients, as this would increase recurrent revenue which is needed.
For CryptPad to be less dependent on short or medium term projects, the recurrent funding for the maintenance of the core software is essential.
Our users, paying users and donors are our credibility. When we discuss with potential customers or project partners, each user is key, each instance being installed, each pad being opened, each mention of CryptPad. You are our credibility.
We'd like to thank all of you and encourage anyone to join them on cryptpad.fr or Open Collective.