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Trolltech Gets Free of Canopy, SCO Ownership
Tuesday, May 24 2005 @ 05:29 PM EDT

I thought you'd be interested to learn that Trolltech is now 100% free of any Canopy or SCO ownership. I've gotten email about this, so I know some of you will be glad to hear this news. Here's the relevant paragraph from the press release:

The completion of this investment round precipitates the departure of Borland, Canopy Group and SCO Group from Trolltech's ownership structure. Trolltech's shares are currently owned by employees, the Trolltech Foundation and investors with the following distribution: Employees 51.84%, Index Ventures 24.82%, Teknoinvest 9.70%, Northzone Ventures 4.83%, Trolltech Foundation 4.5%*, Orkla ASA 3.79%, Previous Employees 0.48%, Others, 0.04%.

Trolltech has taken all steps open to them to get rid of the gestank of SCO, as we humorously call it on Groklaw. So you skeptics can take a deep breath and relax. The celebratory tone shines through the press release. I'm thinking there is some champagne happening in Oslo.


Trolltech Secures $6.7 Million in Series B Investment Led by Index Ventures

Index's Neil Rimer Joins Trolltech's Board of Directors

OSLO, Norway - May 23 2005

Trolltech®, provider of leading technologies for Linux and cross-platform software development, today announced the completion of a $6.7 million Series B round of financing led by Index Ventures. Existing investors Teknoinvest and Northzone Ventures also participated in this round. The funding will be used to fuel Trolltech's global expansion as it capitalizes on the growing markets for embedded Linux and cross-platform desktop applications.

Trolltech also announced that Neil Rimer, co-founder and general partner of Index Ventures, will be joining Trolltech's Board of Directors.

"We chose Index Ventures because it has become one of the most prominent high technology investment firms, with an excellent track record in identifying innovative European-based technology companies, such as MySQL and Skype, and growing them into strong global businesses," said Haavard Nord, chief executive officer for Trolltech. "The market for Linux is quickly extending beyond the data center into embedded devices and onto the desktop. With industry-leading development software in these areas, we are in an excellent position to build on this momentum. This funding will help us expand quickly while continuing to support the open source community."

The completion of this investment round precipitates the departure of Borland, Canopy Group and SCO Group from Trolltech's ownership structure. Trolltech's shares are currently owned by employees, the Trolltech Foundation and investors with the following distribution: Employees 51.84%, Index Ventures 24.82%, Teknoinvest 9.70%, Northzone Ventures 4.83%, Trolltech Foundation 4.5%*, Orkla ASA 3.79%, Previous Employees 0.48%, Others, 0.04%.

Trolltech makes its software available under a dual-licensing business model for both commercial and open source use. Trolltech's Qt® product is a popular application framework for cross-platform software development on the desktop and is the most widely-used commercial tool for Linux application development. The company's Qtopia® software provides a customizable development environment and user interface for Linux-based mobile phones, personal digital assistants and other devices. Today, over 60 vendors are designing, building or shipping devices based on Qtopia and related Trolltech software for embedded Linux.

"Trolltech is a Linux pioneer and a model 'second-generation' open source company, with a profitable business model and proven technology that targets two of the hottest markets for Linux," commented Neil Rimer. "With 11 years of continuous growth behind it, Trolltech has demonstrated its ability to innovate and delight its customers, and we look forward to helping it attain an even more significant market position."

About Trolltech:

Trolltech® is a world leader in delivering tools, components, and libraries for C++ developers across all major operating systems. Trolltech products constitute a leading open source application development framework and are an integral part of the Linux desktop. Trolltech also develops innovative UI platforms that enable key players to adopt Linux for mobile devices. Trolltech creates two product lines: Qt® and Qtopia®. Qt is a complete C++ application development framework, which includes a class library and tools for cross-platform development and internationalization. Qtopia is the first comprehensive application platform built for embedded Linux, and is used on numerous Linux-based PDAs and mobile phones.

Trolltech is a second generation open source company with a dual licensing business model and provides development software to some of the largest companies in the world including Intel, IBM, Motorola, and Sharp, among thousands more. Trolltech is headquartered in Oslo, Norway, with offices in Brisbane, Australia, and Palo Alto, California. More about Trolltech can be found at

About Index Ventures

Index Ventures is a venture capital firm dedicated to helping top entrepreneurial teams build their companies into global leaders. Index proactively seeks out entrepreneurs who are committed to solving real problems with a novel approach and help them develop their company by leveraging the combined experience, networks and resources of the entire partnership. Index recently announced the closing of its fourth fund of EUR300m, which brings its total funds under management to EUR750m. The Index team has been active in technology venture investing since 1996 and has become a major player on the VC world stage with an unrivalled network spanning Europe and the US. The firm has offices in Geneva, London and Jersey and focuses its investment activity primarily on Europe and Israel. IT investments include Betfair, now the world's largest betting exchange; Virata, (acquired by Conexant) a world leader in DSL and other communication chipsets; Skype (global P2P telephony service); MySQL (the world's most popular open source database); and KVS (email archiving firm recently sold to Veritas).

About Teknoinvest Teknoinvest was established in 1984 and is the Nordic venture capital investment firm with the longest track record, as well as being one of the most successful according to value created for its investors. Teknoinvest invests in companies in the technology and life sciences sectors in the Nordic countries as well as in selected opportunities in North-America. Teknoinvest advises funds with a total capital of about Euro 110 millions. Among well-known companies that Teknoinvest has invested in and helped develop are Tandberg AS, Tandberg Television AS, Axis-Shield PLC, Photocure ASA, Ciena Corporation and Opera Software ASA.

About Northzone Ventures

Northzone Ventures is a leading Nordic venture capital firm specialized in innovative early stage investments within software, information technology and telecommunications. The firm has eight investment professionals located in offices in Copenhagen, Oslo, and Stockholm, and has invested in more than 40 companies across Scandinavia since it was founded in 1996. Following the closing of its fourth investment fund, Northzone manages EUR 170 million in capital commitments from eading Nordic and international private equity investors.


Trolltech Gets Free of Canopy, SCO Ownership | 224 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections Here Please
Authored by: salvarsan on Tuesday, May 24 2005 @ 05:48 PM EDT


[ Reply to This | # ]

Trolltech Gets Free of Canopy, SCO Ownership
Authored by: dscribner on Tuesday, May 24 2005 @ 05:52 PM EDT
Definately good news to cheer up my day! Thanks Trolltech!!!

Yes, it *will* work!

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT here, please
Authored by: overshoot on Tuesday, May 24 2005 @ 05:54 PM EDT
Instructions in the posting window.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Congrats to TT on their new found freedom!
Authored by: ray08 on Tuesday, May 24 2005 @ 06:11 PM EDT
Hopefully, F/OSS and TT can mend any weakened relationships and put SCOoby into
the past.

Caldera is toast! And Groklaw is the toaster! (with toast level set to BURN)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Does SCO get any cash from this? n/t
Authored by: RFD on Tuesday, May 24 2005 @ 06:16 PM EDT

Eschew obfuscation.

[ Reply to This | # ]

C language
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, May 24 2005 @ 06:28 PM EDT

Guess SCOG doesn't own the C language anymore ;)

Doh! Knowing SCOGs past claims, they'll still claim to own it. Ah well, almost...


[ Reply to This | # ]

  • C language - Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, May 24 2005 @ 06:49 PM EDT
    • C Family - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, May 25 2005 @ 12:33 AM EDT
    • C language - Authored by: Tyro on Wednesday, May 25 2005 @ 03:35 PM EDT
  • cfront C++ - Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, May 24 2005 @ 08:32 PM EDT
  • C language - Authored by: hank scorpio on Wednesday, May 25 2005 @ 05:13 AM EDT
Trolltech Gets Free of Canopy, SCO Ownership
Authored by: pointwood on Tuesday, May 24 2005 @ 06:34 PM EDT
It's a good move by Trolltech since we all know that SCO only sues customers and
affiliates :p


[ Reply to This | # ]

only half good to me
Authored by: vruz on Tuesday, May 24 2005 @ 07:17 PM EDT
I certainly applaud SCO's leave (for good) from Trolltech, this can only be good
for the FOSS community.
Even more so given Trolltech's plan to GPL the Win32 version of QT in the near

What makes me a little sad is what I understand is now, Borland's definitive
departure from the FOSS ranks.
I believe Borland (or employees within Borland) made honest and enormous efforts
to stay on the free/open side of software (freeing/opening Firebird, and
portions of Delphi/Kylix), but to me, this is a sign they have finally swallowed
the poison pill.

With QT for Windows soon to be released as GPL, this is a greater time than ever
to develop cross-platform GUI applications using QT.
IMHO, Borland leaving Trolltech is a sign they don't believe there's a FOSS,
cross-platform future for their apps.
(other than possibly through Java, they are lukewarmly supporting Eclipse whilst
still pushing JBuilder, one of their cashcows)

(note: yes, I know there's a number of other good toolkits out there, but that
won't help porting applications already written in QT)

--- the vruz

[ Reply to This | # ]

Trolls unencumbered by SCO.....
Authored by: tiger99 on Tuesday, May 24 2005 @ 07:21 PM EDT
Fantastic! Now they will go on to even bigger and better things, especially when the patent battle in Europe is won, which now looks very hopeful.

Maybe the examples that will follow of Trolltech and other FOSS developers such as MySQL prospering in Europe will motivate the US government to sort the USPTO out, before their software industry is destroyed by patents of questionable legality.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Borland link is interesting too.
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, May 24 2005 @ 07:39 PM EDT
Note that Microsoft has a shareholding in Borland, so they've also
de-Microsofted themselves.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Trolltech Gets Free of Canopy, SCO Ownership
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, May 24 2005 @ 08:16 PM EDT
Share distribution - "Employees 51.84%"..
I take it that will preclude hostile takeovers?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Go Trolltech! Congrats!
Authored by: OmniGeek on Tuesday, May 24 2005 @ 10:15 PM EDT
This is wonderful news, and I'm sure they're even gladder than we are. Trolltech
are good folks and don't deserve to suffer from association with SCO and
policies they never had anything to do with.

My strength is as the strength of ten men, for I am wired to the eyeballs on

[ Reply to This | # ]

Trolltech w/o SCO
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, May 24 2005 @ 10:53 PM EDT
Hoorah! I'm a KDE fan and this is *really* great news! I was genuinely
concerned about Trolltech getting dragged into this Canopy, mess and
seeing them free themselves is the best news today.

I wish them the best!


[ Reply to This | # ]

No Mention of Ralph Yarro on the Board of Directors any longer
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, May 24 2005 @ 11:15 PM EDT
And no mention anywhere of Ralph leaving... does the buying out of Canopy's
interest in Trolltech automatically mean that Ralph Yarro loses his seat on the
Trolltech Board of Directory?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Trolltech funds SCO
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, May 25 2005 @ 12:09 AM EDT
Look at the other side of the coin: Trolltech just
injected some cash into the SCO litigation against
IBM/Novell/DC/Autozone/RedHat, i.e. helps to attack FOSS
just like MS and Sun did 2 years ago!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Do You Trust Trolltech?
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, May 25 2005 @ 12:16 AM EDT
The article implies that, by separating from The Canopy Group, Trolltech is now
free of the rot.

But how can you know for sure?

Remember that it was The Canopy Group who earlier tried to rid themselves of the
SCO rot, by firing a group of schemers, including the Chairman of SCO, Ralph

Ralph Yarro, assuming nothing has changed, is also on the board of directors of

It's rather important, because a lot of people are betting their computing
future on whether Trolltech is trustworthy.

Trolltech, of course, sells Qt, which is an applications platform that sits on
top of Linux, in much the same way as OS/X sits on BSD, or Windows originally
sat on DOS.

And just as Windows software is written to use Windows APIs, and OS/X software
is written to use OS/X APIs, so too is Qt-based software written to use Qt APIs.
Thus, as with Windows and OS/X, software written for the Qt platform is locked
in to Qt -- to switch would involve a costly porting exercise.

Now that would not be a problem if Qt was strictly an Open Source platform.

But the fact is that Qt is only Open Source when running Qt-based applications
under a _GPL_ license. If you are running proprietary (non-GPL'd) Qt-based
applications, then you are tied to a _proprietary-licensed_ Qt platform. In
other words, you cannot fork and redistribute Qt for proprietary Qt-based
applications -- you are dependent on a single supplier, namely, Trolltech.

Even developers of GPL'd Qt-based software, while they have the right to fork
the Qt source, are still tied, by compatibility requirements, to Trolltech's
proprietary APIs and Desktop Object Model.

It's a good lock-in scheme on Trolltech's part. Many distributions, such as
Xandros, Mepis, and SuSE, even make Qt their default desktop platform.

So, the question is, for those who are willing to lock themselves into Qt-based
software, how much do you trust Trolltech?

Personally, I don't know why people are willing to make that bet, when they
don't have to. I recall that the head of Red Hat once said that Open Source
removes the need for trust.

I prefer to avoid lock-in to as great an extent as possible. That's why all my
software runs on pure Open Source platforms, such as GTK, Mozilla, or
X-Windows+Posix. All of those are completely forkable, as recently

I find it interesting that Index Ventures has gathered together Qt, MySQL, and
Skype, since I consider those to be three of the six most successful lock-in
schemes on Linux. The other three, for the record, are closed-source video
drivers, JBoss, and Crossover.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Trolltech Gets Free of Canopy, SCO Ownership
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, May 25 2005 @ 01:55 AM EDT
SCO most likely has sold her shares with a profit though. But it shouldnt be too

[ Reply to This | # ]

Biff(E) comment on Yahoo
Authored by: AndyC on Wednesday, May 25 2005 @ 06:15 AM EDT
Okay, so I shouldn't allow myself to be baited by him/her/it, but he/she/it is
saying that Novell have settled and bought Unixware. There is no mention of it
on the PR Newswire website (which he/she/it quotes) nor on the Novell website.

Have I been the victim of more Biff(e) FUD?


[ Reply to This | # ]

Trolltech Gets Free of Canopy, SCO Ownership
Authored by: blacklight on Wednesday, May 25 2005 @ 10:21 AM EDT
"The completion of this investment round precipitates the departure of
Borland, Canopy Group and SCO Group from Trolltech's ownership structure."

That sounds like someone is jumping for joy. Good luck to Trolltech!

[ Reply to This | # ]

how many shared (and percentage) did SCO own? [n/t]
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, May 25 2005 @ 01:16 PM EDT
It would be interesting to know...

[ Reply to This | # ]

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