OpenSky becomes part of the Alibaba Group family

By Chris Keane

Today marks a major milestone for OpenSky. It’s been in the works for a while and I’m proud to make it official:

We are now part of Alibaba Group.

As of today, OpenSky joins Alibaba Group in 2 capacities:

  • One team becomes part of Alibaba.com, acting as its North America B2B arm in serving U.S.–based buyers and suppliers.
  • The other team becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alibaba Group, bringing together all of OpenSky’s marketplace and SaaS businesses.

I’ve written before about what becomes possible when we scale the entrepreneurial spirit; when we mirror the tenacity and drive of the people and small businesses that we serve. Today’s announcement is evidence of that possibility, and it amplifies the impact that our incredible team can create.

When Jack Ma started Alibaba 19 years ago, he built a business that changed the world for small businesses everywhere. Alibaba.com brought the world closer together, using the internet to empower manufacturers and small businesses to find each other, collaborate, and create new opportunities for themselves.

Today, Alibaba.com plays a critical role in the success of thousands of U.S. small businesses—the people we serve. 

When I first walked into OpenSky’s offices in 2009, I knew I was joining an entrepreneurial company that put small businesses first. It was true then, and it’s true now: in 2017, we teamed up with Alibaba’s B2B leadership team to collaborate on new ways to help small businesses overcome their unique challenges. It was thrilling to discover that our counterparts at Alibaba share our obsession with helping SMEs. We’ve quickly aligned on a global vision to provide access to markets and resources for businesses and entrepreneurs, opening new doors and knocking down obstacles.

What’s ahead?

Stay tuned: we’re putting the finishing touches on some exciting improvements while using our new role within Alibaba to kick off even more powerful concepts. We’re committing our combined energies to serving small businesses everywhere. Together we’ll continue answering every seemingly impossible question with, “I don’t know now, but we will know soon—for now, let’s take this next step.” 

I want to thank so many people for making this next step possible, the OpenSky rhinos, past and present, who took a chance to dream, sweat, and create, side-by-side for the past 9 years: John our unflinching visionary; Kevin the strategic brains behind so many of our critical decisions; Mike Schnapf who has redefined operational success for our whole team; Rich and Ellen who leveled up our leadership team; Jon and Andrew who brought talent, optimism, and perspective every day; Charles, Rocky, and Hailey – the first believers who signed on to re-imagine global trade; Chris D, Kate, Tony, Josh, Jonah, Katerina, Tony, Yohanes, Kivanc, Andy, Dang, Erica, Louis, Anthony, James, and Andrew, who rapidly coalesced their subject-matter expertise into a new International B2B leadership team at OpenSky; and our crews in NYC, Nashville, Chico, Bucharest, Portland, Los Angeles, and Miami who proved that ambition and opportunity transcend geography.  

Your grit, your global vision, and your committed execution make this next part of our journey so much more exciting.