Episode 225

OSCA 2023 with Subomi Oluwalana on Convoy


March 22nd, 2024

13 mins 58 secs

Your Host
Special Guest

About this Episode


Subomi Oluwalana


Richard Littauer

Show Notes

On today’s episode, Richard engages in a conversation with Subomi Oluwalana, Co-founder and CEO of Convoy, an innovative company specializing in open source Webhooks gateway solutions akin to Kong but focused on Webhooks, with features like rate limiting and circuit breaking. He delves into the intricacies of balancing a genuine open source philosophy with profitability drawing parallels with GitLab’s model and emphasizes the importance of community and transparency in open source projects. The discussion also covers Convoy’s positive reception in Nigeria, Subomi’s distinctive experience with Y Combinator, his thoughts on the evolving perceptions of open source as a business model, and advice for aspiring open source entrepreneurs. Press download now to hear more!

[00:01:14] Subomi tells us about Convoy, and he describes Convoy’s service as analogous to Kong but for Webhooks, highlighting its functionalities.

[00:01:52] Richard questions Subomi about Convoy’s open source model and what aspects remain proprietary, and he discusses the balance between being genuinely open source and profitable.

[00:03:12] The conversation shifts to community importance in open source projects, with Subomi explaining the wide range of developers Convoy serves.

[00:04:56] Richard sites Subomi’s blog post on sustainability and questions how Convoy maintains its product market while ensuring the sustainability of its open source project. Subomi speaks on the delicate balance of stewardship in open source, advocating for transparency and a clear understanding between the community and the company.

[00:08:07] Richard steers the discussion towards the role of VC funders and Y Combinator’s support for open source projects. Subomi describes Y Combinator’s growing openness to open source companies and the changing perceptions of open source as a viable business model.

[00:09:17] The conversation touches upon Subomi’s unique experience as a Nigerian company in Y Combinator, particularly as a DevTools company.

[00:11:07] Subomi shares the positive response Convoy has received in Nigeria, detailing their engagement with the local tech ecosystem.

[00:11:40] Richard asks for Subomi’s advice for those in the OSCA or developing countries looking to start an open source business.

[00:13:06] Find out where you can learn more about Subomi and Convoy on the web.


[00:02:11] “We wanted to be open source, but we also wanted to make money.”

[00:05:03] “Open Source is the ultimate form of sustainability. 92% of SaaS companies fail regardless of funding or growth. Failure of your business should not bring down my infrastructure, nor force me to redesign my system architecture when I’m not ready to do so. Providing open source software is the highest form of care for sustainability for your users.”

[00:06:57] “It’s very important to be transparent with the community with the direction you are taking. That, in my opinion is the biggest problem that we face as open source founders.”

[00:08:15] “Y Combinator has become a good home for open source companies.”

[00:09:23] “There hasn’t been any open source DevTools company from Nigeria in YC.”

[00:12:32] “The abstractions you think are needed in your organization are most probably needed elsewhere.”



Support Sustain