GitHub CEO on Andreessen’s $100 Million Investment
Coding Start-Up GitHub Gets $100-Million Boost
By PUI-WING TAM
Little-known social coding start-up GitHub Inc. has raised $100 million in its first round of funding, in a sign of how big investment bets are continuing in Silicon Valley.
The round also marks the biggest check written to date by venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, which is leading GitHub’s financing and putting in more than 99% of the money. The funding values four-year-old GitHub at $750 million, said a person briefed about the deal.
Marc Andreessen of venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz
“It’s the largest investment we’ve ever made” as GitHub tries to become the standard in software coding, said Andreessen Horowitz venture capitalist Peter Levine, who joins GitHub’s board.
GitHub’s funding stands out amid concerns over the start-up investment environment after Facebook Inc.’s FB -2.18%disappointing initial public offering in May. While some venture capitalists said they have since reconsidered jumping into high-priced late-stage funding rounds, many venture firms continue pumping money into younger start-ups and are also raising new funds.
On Monday, Dow Jones VentureSource reported that 82 venture funds collected $13 billion in the year’s first half, up 31% in capital from a year earlier.
GitHub, based in San Francisco, offers developers a site where they can store, write and collaborate on software-coding projects. With GitHub, developers can easily contribute new code and have that code be quickly melded back into a project; previously that was a more labor-intensive process.
GitHub doesn’t charge users for “open source” software projects on its site, but developers can pay $25 a month for a business account to keep their repositories of code private. Last year, GitHub also introduced a software-coding product for companies, which it licenses for $250 a year per user.
Tom Preston-Werner, GitHub’s chief executive, declined to disclose the company’s revenue but said it is profitable. Overall, GitHub now hosts more than 3.1 million software projects and has more than 1.7 million users, he said.
Mr. Preston-Werner said GitHub previously fended off venture capitalists who were interested in investing. But the start-up is raising money now so it can grow into a more prevalent software-coding business, he said. Among other things, he said the company wants to build out an enterprise sales team and potentially expand overseas. The company currently has 100 employees and plans to hire quickly.
“I want everyone to know we’re serious” about growth, he said.
One GitHub client is Twitter Inc. Chris Aniszczyk, a Twitter open-source manager, said the microblogging company has been using GitHub for a few years for all of its open-source software projects because it makes it easy for people to contribute and share code.
“If you’re an engineer, you would have heard of it somewhere,” said Mr. Aniszczyk. “Everyone is on it.”