Japan’s IssueHunt funding platform can get contributors paid for open source work

Image credit: BoostIO

See the original story in Japanese.

Japanese startup BoostIO (formerly Maisin & Co.) has launched a platform called IssueHunt, which allows project owners to request bug fixes in their open source project to other users, in a way like crowdsourcing. Open source developers can import their self-managed repository from GitHub onto IssueHunt, make a bug report (issue), and ask other users for solutions. It is possible to show appreciation to users (contributors) for their effort in the form of rewards and donations.

There have been Open Collective and other several open source management platforms with financing functions but we were told that IssueHunt is the first platform that allows users to solicit contributions on an issue-by-issue basis.

According to BoostIO CEO Kazumasa Yokomizo, Boostnote is currently being developed by contributions from users. The idea for IssueHunt came to Yokomizo and CTO Choi Junyoung while they were discussing ways to help contributors taking part in the development. The beta version of IssueHunt has been released internally and has already been used for multiple open source bug fixes, but the reward function is currently only available for Boostnote projects on IssueHunt.

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IssueHunt’s business model divides the reward for bug fixes between contributors and maintainers (committers) by 80%:20%, and IssueHunt takes a 10% commission from the contributor’s share. In other words, IssueHunt’s income is 8% of the total amount given for bug-correction.

We want to create a world where open source maintainers can make a living just from this. Our target is a scale of 10,000 people.” (Yokomizo)

Masanori Hashimoto, CEO of the successful SaaS business Nulab, first brought the Fukuoka-based BoostIO to The Bridge’s attention. Nulab is known for the majority of its users being from overseas, but BoostIO brings it full circle with the majority of its access coming from abroad. 87% of Boostnote’s access comes from overseas, and Boostlog, a blog for programmers using Markdown (Yokomizo described it as comparable to Medium for developers) and was released in February of this year by BoostIO, has a foreign access rate of 97%. Following the growth of Boostnote and Boostlog, BoostIO is targeting the world market for IssueHunt as well.

Yokomizo added:

In the US IT companies are donating to OpenCollective and others, and there is a movement to support the developer community. We are hoping to build a culture that encourages IT donations here in Japan too. Participating as a contributor to open source allows people to self-study and work a side job at the same time, so I think it’s easy for IT companies to recommend it to their employees as part-time work opportunities. (Yokomizo)

Translated by Amanda Imasaka
Edited by Masaru Ikeda