The “M” company of the LAMP acronym has increased its revenues to about $ 50 million in 2006 up from $34 million in 2005. According to a speech given by CEO Marten Mickos at the recent MySQL conference, the company is also close to breakeven, even if this is not a specific goal. MySQL earns money by selling supports for its database product.
MySQL is the dominant player of the open source database market and its strength has forced Microsoft and Oracle to offer free basic versions of their own databases. MySQL has been a target for Oracle when major editors were looking to acquire open source companies like JBoss, now part of Red Hat. Oracle didn’t get MySQL but acquired InnoDB, the editor of one of the transactional engine behind MySQL. To justify for the IPO, MySQL’s CEO declared that some customers will deal more easily with a public company with open accounting. This could also provide funds to acquire other companies. Both MySQL and Zend (the company behind PHP) are de facto managing the products that are the foundations of many Web sites. I think this will be the best interest of Web developers that these companies stay independent. In this case, an IPO could make it easier that they would be acquired by a competitor, depending on the attitude of the new shareholders.