GitHub raises $250 million as investors acknowledge importance of open-source software

GitHub, the hub for open-sourced software and code-sharing, has raised $250 million from investors — among the larger Silicon Valley investments so far this year.

The San Francisco-based company confirmed on Wednesday it closed a $250 million Series B, led by premiere VC firm Sequoia Capital, with participation from Andreessen Horowitz, Thrive Capital and Institutional Venture Partners. The round brings GitHub’s total fundraising to $350 million; it hadn’t raised capital since 2012, when it pulled in $100 million from Andreessen Horowitz, the company said. It had bootstrapped itself for four years prior.

GitHub declined to comment on its valuation, but the Wall Street Journal pegs it at $2 billion, citing sources familiar with the matter. That would put GitHub’s market cap in line with that of Instacart and Blue Apron, popular grocery-delivery services.

But its valuation is as much as GitHub has in common with those companies, or any other consumer-facing app. GitHub  is a central repository for open-source software, where programmers can alter and distribute computer code freely. GitHub tracks every change and update a developer has made to a line of code, and offers myriad collaboration tools for developers. The idea is that a community of developers working together is better than a single developer working in an isolated environment. Developers can submit projects and ask for feedback, which is how a lot of bugs on highly trafficked websites and apps get fixed.

Founded in 2008, GitHub says it has more than 33 million unique visitors and is one of the top 100 most-visited websites in the world.

The company says it hosts the largest community of software developers and projects on the Web. Federal and state agencies put their applications on GitHub: NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory uses GitHub to integrate its various development tools and provide a single place where developers can find code. The White House uses GitHub for the president’s Project Open Data, an effort to make sure all government data is online and usable by developers; the president’s budget was published on GitHub earlier this year.

GitHub also sells private versions of its software for businesses to use, which is how it makes money.

Image: GitHub mascot, the Octocat, provided by GitHub

 

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