Open Ocean Capital, a Finnish VC firm, has invested $1 million in Zentyal, a developer of the Linux based Small Business Server. Open Ocean closed a $40 million fund in may, and gravitates towards open source projects due to their background with MySQL. Zentyal is based in Spain, and the startup says it is now at more than 30,000 monthly downloads, three years after its founding.

According to Ignacio Correas, CEO of Zentyal, “Zentyal is a fast-growing server solution that utilizes cloud-based services to make network management easy and secure for small and medium businesses.” The service uses a subscription-based approach, and calls itself an open source alternative to Windows Small Business Server

Open Ocean is an early-stage venture capital company that focuses on European startups deploying user community or open source business models. The firm was the first major owner of MySQL AB, which was later sold to Sun Microsystems for $1 billion in 2008. As the team includes Michael “Monty” Widenius, the original developer and co-founder of the MySQL database, as well as others with hands on knowledge, the company is able to leverage its direct experience with companies like Zentyal.

With Open Oceean’s Fund Three, investments are typically €0.5-1M ($0.6-1.2M), with one or several follow-on investments tied to growth targets. The maximum investment is €6M ($7.7M) per portfolio company. Their target markets include software products and services, mobile computing and applications, cloud computing, software-as-a-service, Enterprise 2.0 and open source – trends in which MySQL has played a catalytic role.

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