UPDATE: We’ve tweaked the headline, because we’ve heard from two different players who say Optaros and SpikeSource aren’t competing, even if they sound similar. Here’s a good summary (thanks Stephen).

optaros.gifYet another company has joined the race to help integrate all of the disparate open source software floating out there. Already, there are OpenLogic, SpikeSource (see news summary here) and SourceLabs (we wrote up here, but interesting stuff about pedigree here). Some really doubt whether there’s a market for this stuff, but yet the start-ups keep coming, along with venture dollars.

The latest is Optaros, which said yesterday it received $7.0 million in a first round of investment, from Charles River Ventures and General Catalyst Partners. It launched in July. The company apparently has 16 employees and will have around 50 by year’s end, which is aggressive. Hmmm, interesting, because that’s remarkably similar to the plans of Kim Polese, the former Marimba chief executive who is now CEO at Redwood City’s SpikeSource, told us several days ago she has about 25 employees, and wants to hire 25 within the next 12 months or so, for a total of 50 — though she didn’t want to hold to an exact number.

We’re interested in this emerging space, and hope to write more about SpikeSource shortly, for the Mercury News. There’s an interesting discussion of it here (the Gillmor Gang talks with Kim Polese), for those who really want to wash themselves in an hour-long discussion of the details.