Alphabet Backs GitLab's Quest to Surpass Microsoft's GitHub

(Bloomberg) -- GitLab Inc., a platform for sharing and collaborating on code, said it raised $100 million to expand its suite of tools as it fights for market share with with Microsoft Corp.’s GitHub.

The fundraising values the startup at just over $1 billion, a company spokesman said, making GitLab the latest unicorn in the booming market for digital operations management. Alphabet Inc.’s GV, Iconiq Capital and Khosla Ventures participated in the financing round.

GitLab, whose customers include Intel Corp., Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Nasdaq Inc., saw a surge of users after Microsoft agreed in June to buy GitHub for $7.5 billion in stock. Some programmers were concerned about how Microsoft -- historically critical of open-source tools like GitHub and GitLab -- would change the platform as its new owner.

Alphabet’s role in funding the 350-person firm comes soon after it lost out to Microsoft in the bidding for GitHub. The investment was made through GV, its venture arm, which also invested in GitLab’s $20 million funding round in October 2017. In June, Diane Greene, head of the search giant’s cloud arm, said Google had been in the running for GitHub, but after losing out they hoped that Microsoft “can keep them neutral.”

“You sometimes see companies start out as open-source and then get alienated from their contributors. We work really hard to make sure that won’t happen,” GitLab Chief Executive Officer Sid Sijbrandij said in an interview.

It’s the latest major deal in the so-called DevOps market. Broadcom Inc. agreed to buy CA Technologies for $19 billion earlier this year; Atlassian Corp. bought OpsGenie Inc. for $295 million; and Salesforce Inc. spent $6.5 billion to purchase MuleSoft Inc.

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