April 8, 2022 by Drew DeVault

SourceHut's 2021 Financial report

In summary, SourceHut is financially healthy, profitable, and growing. We enjoyed substantial YoY growth between 2020 and 2021. SourceHut hired its third full-time software engineer, and with the help of the NGI0 Discovery fund we had another developer join us to help with the GraphQL development work. We have a sustainable business model and sufficient capital with which to execute all of our planned expansions, such as a new European datacenter presence.

We had previously published public financial reports quarterly, but preparing such reports is a time-consuming process, particularly given the growing complexity of our finances. Starting with this report, and going forward, we will publish reports annually. The exact format of these reports and the ability to compare numbers across years will be somewhat inconsistent as we gradually move our business operations into Europe.

Disclaimer: this report is a summarized approximation of our financials, and is not used for tax purposes.

2021 revenue sources

SourceHut has two main revenue streams:

  1. Paid subscriptions for the forge platform, which are generally consistent
  2. Contracts via our consulting arm, which are generally more inconsistent

We use the forge platform revenue as the basis for our planning and treat consulting revenue as capital to fund new projects.

Platform revenue

We issued 10,484 invoices to SourceHut subscribers in 2021. Subscriptions are available at three price points: $2, $5, and $10; billed monthly, or annually for a 2 month discount. Invoices paid in 2021 break down as follows:

5,153   $ 2   (paid monthly)
2,098   $ 5   (paid monthly)
  818   $10   (paid monthly)
1,672   $ 2   (paid yearly)
  496   $ 5   (paid yearly)
  184   $10   (paid yearly)

The total revenue from platform subscriptions in 2021 was $105,777.08, which, after credit card processing fees, was $98,741.95. This is an increase of 35% over 2020. In 2021, a total of 7,184 new users signed up for an account. Of these users, 956 signed up for a paid account. Of these 956, 45 are currently delinquent. This is a conversion rate of 12.6%, slightly improved from 2020’s 11.7%. Among all users registered in all years (a total of 28,262 at the time of writing), 11.35% (or 3,209 users) have paid accounts.

This modest increase may be at least somewhat explained by the introduction of paid-only services such as builds.sr.ht and chat.sr.ht in 2021. Note that, following the completion of the alpha, all users who own resources (such as repositories, bug trackers, mailing lists, etc) will be expected to move to a paid account. Contributors will not be expected to pay, and users who wish to pay but cannot will be offered financial aid.

On the subject of financial aid, at the time of writing, 59 users have received financial aid. 100% of users who requested financial aid received it. Reasons provided by users include, in descending order of frequency:

Consulting revenue

SourceHut accepts consulting projects at the discretion of our full-time engineers, part-time. These contracts are executed in public and are required to only produce free and open source software.

In total, SourceHut received $285,739 in revenue from consulting engagements in 2021.

Summary of revenue

Our total revenue from all sources for 2021, before taxes, expenses, and fees, was $391,516.

Cash on hand

At the close of the year, we had $102,402 in cash on hand.

2021 expenses

In 2021 we had the following expenses, excluding payroll:

$8,277    Colocation costs (space, power, network)
$7,035    Credit card processing fees
$2,125    Sponsorships
$1,110    Domain names
$  995    Miscellaneous
$  570    Insurance

We cancelled our GitHub sponsorships partway through the year, and began sponsoring the OpenStreetMap project as a Bronze sponsor.

From 2022 forward, we use a standard approach to compensation. Each full-time SourceHut engineer earns $2,500 per month for self-directed work furthering our mission to “make free software better” at their own discretion; working on projects like the forge but also maintaining independently directed projects and contributing to the broader ecosystem. Additionally, SourceHut engineers can elect to, at their discretion, participate part-time (generally no more than two days per week) on consulting projects. Furthermore, my compensation as CEO was dealt with separately — previously I made a bit less than everyone else, and going forward I will also be paid the standard compensation.

In 2021, our compensation scheme was not standardized, and varied throughout the year. We also had three special personnel arrangements in 2021: one paid intern, one short-term, part-time contractor to help with a specific internal project, and one medium-term, part-time contractor to help with a specific consulting engagement. For privacy reasons, and due to the complexity of the situation, we will report our compensation figures in aggregate. In 2022, we will break this figure down further for transparency.

Not including my compensation as CEO, we paid a total of $131,597 between all forms of staff compensation.

Thus, our total expenses for 2021 were $151,459.

2021 financial summary

-$50,000 (approx)
$189,000 (approx)

Expectations for 2022

We have three full-time staff paid under the standard compensation model, and about $700/mo in recurring expenses. Currently we make about $9200/mo from the platform, putting our monthly profit at about $1000, without factoring in consulting revenue. Thus, the platform provides for a sustainable business independently of our other lines of business. The breakdown of active subscriptions at the time of writing is as follows:

$2    monthly   518 users
$5    monthly   210 users
$10   monthly    80 users
$2    yearly  1,710 users
$5    yearly    500 users
$10   yearly    190 users

We have three ongoing consulting contracts which we expect to continue through most of the year. We have already migrated or established some of these contracts with the new Dutch business entity, and we intend to migrate more of our business over the Atlantic throughout 2022.

At the time of writing, SourceHut has $62,608 and €30,590 in cash on hand.

The only major investment we have planned is the deployment of a European datacenter presence, which is likely to begin in late 2022, but may be delayed to early 2023.


In short, SourceHut is profitable and is comfortably succeeding in its efforts to provide sustainable software development & infrastructure for the free and open source software community. We remain committed to investing 100% of our profit into the free and open source community. I want to extend my thanks to the SourceHut community for its role in achieving our goals: sincerely, thank you.