GitLab fills need for enterprise developer tools, picks up funding round

If there was any doubt about enterprises’ growing realization of the importance of software, today’s GitLab news should dispel that

GitLab fills need for enterprise developer tools, picks up funding round
Credit: Salim Virji via Flickr

Recently I chatted with Dawie Olivier, the CIO of Westpac Bank. Olivier has a long history within the financial services industry, and we talked about helping these kinds of organizations become agile and innovative.

This is no small challenge (I’ll share more about my interview with Olivier in a future post). Financial services organizations work within a highly regulated industry and are doubly confounded by often being built on top of big, heavy, monolithic, legacy IT systems. Hardly a recipe for agility.

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My experience with these types of organizations consists of discussion about more agile IT processes followed closely by comments suggesting that “it would be nice to do something like that, but we can’t because of [insert legacy system or restrictive compliance framework].”

That is why we see such interest in new tools that help organizations navigate a path to agility but within the context of a consistent approach and process. Last week it was HashiCorp that announced new funding and enterprise products; today it’s GitLab’s turn.

GitLab is a two-years-young vendor that offers a code collaboration platform. The platform, built on an open core, allows developers and operations staff to create, review and deploy code more rapidly and effectively.

The GitLab product has been downloaded over a million times and covers repository management, code, review, issue tracking, wikis and GitLab CI, a continuous integration and deployment tool. Like other companies commercializing open-source or open-core tools, GitLab offers enterprise products that are designed to support over 25,000 users on a single server.

The company claims 100,000 users, including big names such as NASA, CERN, SpaceX and Alibaba. GitLab is riding on an increasing trend that sees organizations looking for consistent approaches towards developer agility. They're less likely to want a completely standalone bug tracker, code repository product, CI/CD offering, etc, but platforms that can tick off all of those functions in a modular but consistent manner are attractive.

“We are seeing a shift in the landscape as the disparate tools that were designed to enable collaboration and speed development are actually slowing down the enterprise development process. Developers are looking to Git and open source for solutions to deliver higher-quality software faster,” said Sid Sijbrandij, CEO and co-founder of GitLab. “GitLab is focused on more than just the best tools, but also on creating the most natural and cohesive process to closely mirror the way developers work without duplicating effort or the distraction of switching to multiple platforms. This additional capital gives us an incredible opportunity to expand our product offerings, create more collaborative tools and support dev teams of all sizes.”

GitLab receives $20 million Series B funding

GitLab must be doing something right. The company just announced it has raised a $20 million Series B funding round. New investor August Capital led the round, with participation from existing investors Y Combinator and Khosla Ventures, bringing total funding to date to $25.6 million.

That funding is partly based on the success that GitLab has seen from riding the coattails of the Git open-source version control system. Statistics suggest that 30 percent of developers use Git, while legacy offerings have greatly diminished in marketshare. GitLab shares a name, common tooling and an approach with Git, and this has been beneficial to its growth as organizations look to replace traditional process-driven development approaches with ones that put agility and collaboration at the front.

“GitLab is providing developers with a new way to view the development process as a seamless, iterative conversation that maps to how developers work today. This 'conversational development' is a natural evolution for software engineers that covers the entire lifecycle from idea to production with agility and collaboration,” said Villi Iltchev, partner at August Capital. “Born in the enterprise and founded by an exceptional team of developers, GitLab has reimagined the software development process with an open core and flexible deployment solution that is ideal for companies of all sizes. August Capital is excited to be working with Sid and his team, and supporting GitLab’s growth and continued innovation.”

The funding comes on the heels of GitLab’s recent release of Issue Board, a new way for developers to manage issues in GitLab, the latest addition to the company’s 10- step lifecycle offering. In the coming months, GitLab said it will release cycle analytics, one of the last two tools to complete the modern developer operating system.

My POV

It is interesting to see the success of companies such as GitLab, HashiCorp and Atlasssian, which all strive to offer these modular, but consistent, developer tools. Clearly there is a massive market opportunity to be part of enterprises’ journey from the processes of old to more modern, agile ways of working. This funding round is both a seal of approval, as well as more fuel for the fire for GitLab.

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