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CI/CD / Open Source / Software Development

GitLab Raises $1.5 Million as Code Sharing and Open Source Gains Acceptance

Jul 9th, 2015 10:05am by
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Open source code collaboration platform GitLab has raised $1.5 million in seed funding led by Khosla Ventures, 500 Startups, CrunchFund, Ashton Kutcher’s Sound Ventures and Liquid 2 Ventures, an investment group including former NFL quarterback Joe Montana.

GitLab provides an open source code collaboration platform aimed at enterprise use.

It was founded in 2011 by Sytse “Sid” Sijbrandij of The Netherlands and Dmitriy Zaporozhets of Ukraine. It’s a Rails application providing Git repository management with access controls, code reviews, issue tracking, activity feeds, wikis and continuous integration.

It was part of the Winter 2015 Y Combinator class. Sijbrandij has said he and Zaporozhets wanted into that class because they realized they needed more business acumen.

“We bootstrapped until Y Combinator and were very happy with the pace at which we were going, but we see the market in the next few years — more companies will switch from previous-generation technologies … and we want to make sure GitLab is on their radar. We saw the need to greatly expand our sales and marketing to spread awareness,” he said.

With the added funding, the company plans to open an office in San Francisco for sales and marketing, but it plans to keep its development team distributed globally. The company so far has 20 employees.

GitLab comes in three flavors:

  • GitLab Community Edition, a free open source version built by a community of more than 800 people that users can run on their servers.
  •, a free SaaS version with unlimited private repositories, which allows clients to run their infrastructures while owning everything.
  • GitLab Enterprise Edition is a subscription-based offering with pricing at $49 per user per year for on-premises installations. The code is open to inspect and adapt, and it offers deeper LDAP/AD integration, Jira and Jenkins integration and more.

It says more than 100,000 organizations use GitLab on-premises including NASA, CERN, Alibaba, SpaceX, O’Reilly, IBM and Expedia, and that any user numbers would be misleading because these companies include multiple users.

In March, GitLab acquired competitor Gitorious, whose bigger projects included Qt, openSUSE and XBMC.

In a blog post, GitLab outlines its three main advantages are that it has focused on enterprise needs, is easier to operate and scale, and it is more inclusive with its community of contributors.

“We think the whole move to open source in the enterprise is interesting, and we certainly feel we have the wind at our back with that,” Sijbrandij said.

Though the investment primarily will be spent on expanding the business reach, he said, “Our most recent hire was in our continuous integration product. GitLab already works really well to manage code, but having great code means you have test it all the time and we want to make that as easy as possible.”

Yet the company faces big competition from GitHub and its millions of users, BitBucket, Microsoft and others.

GitHub raised $100 million in 2012 from Andreessen Horowitz and is seeking to raise an additional $200 million.

Atlassian’s BitBucket service recently announced it’s opening its service to third-party integrations.

After closing down Google Code last winter, Google is returning with its Cloud Source Repositories service. The beta offering allows developers to host Git repositories on Google’s Cloud Platform and to synchronize with repositories on GitHub and BitBucket.

And Amazon has announced for 2015 CodeCommit, a similar source code hosting system, and CodePipeline, a continuous integration system running in the cloud.

IBM is a sponsor of The New Stack.

Feature image: “Improving the speed and quality of research via shared algorithm implementations” by is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

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