August 13, 2018

The Colossal Spider Web of Open Market Alumni

eCommerce is a dominant industry, but did you know that the foundation for buying items online was built by a tech company in the Boston tech scene?

Open Market was one of the first companies to build an application suite for eCommerce transactions. Its Transact product provided an early end-to-end product for conducting secure transactions online, which ended up winning a patent for its "Shopping Cart" feature. The suite also included other items for helping companies sell online like content management and personalized marketing.  

The company was one of the original unicorns in the Boston tech scene. Founded in 1994, Open Market had its IPO in 1996, with the stock doubling in value on its first day of trading, closing at a market cap of $1.2B and eventually hitting a peak market cap of $2.5B in late 1999 / early 2000.

In 2001, the company was acquired by Divine, which dissolved in 2003 and the patents were acquired by Soverain Software.

More than several former employees of Open Market left their mark on the Boston tech scene, and many of them have gone onto executive roles at other prominent tech companies, have started their own, or have become board members at other tech companies in the area. We've compiled a slideshow of 20+ alumni to share the details on what they are up to now.

For this slideshow, we used the following criteria:

  • Must be based in the Boston area.
  • Tenure at Open Market for at least two years...however, we did make a few exceptions if the person played a key role in the early days of the company.
  • Currently a founder, executive, or board member. 

A special thanks to Jeff Bussgang of Flybridge for helping us put this slideshow together.