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Github Raises $100 Million (wsj.com)
547 points by jakebellacera on July 9, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 222 comments

I'm a little surprised by all of the anti-VC sentiment in this thread so far, especially from this community. I'm perhaps even more surprised by the "what do they need 100 million dollars" sentiment that is being floated around.

Github is an impressive company that has, so far, blown away its competition in many aspects. The fact that they have been self-bootstrapped up until this point and that they are profitable to boot is a testament to Tom's incredible leadership and their absolutely exceptional team.

Tom has made it abundantly clear that he is not against venture capital. He just thinks it is starting off on the wrong foot if you try to build your company with the expectation of relying on venture capital from the start.

So he's taken Github to profitability, and in four years they've all managed to transform the way most of us collaborate online. That is a profound achievement, but those responsible for such a radical change aren't generally the type to sit idly by on the backs of their previous accomplishments.

They want to do bigger and better things with Github. They're not quite done trying to change the world. Now they are not only profitable, but they have substantial capital to invest in further innovations.

With 0 dollars, a couple of guys built something amazing. I can't wait to see what they can do with 100 million.

> With 0 dollars, a couple of guys built something amazing. I can't wait to see what they can do with 100 million.

Since substantial funding wasn't a contribution to their first success, nor apparently even their goal, there's no reason to expect that throwing money at them would lead to something even more amazing.

Except that virtually every big company that we admire has successfully used the cash that they've raised to build awesome things that they otherwise couldn't have afforded without considerable risk or years of building up a war chest.

Cash is a tool. Disciplined companies CAN use cash intelligently.

"Cash is a tool. Disciplined companies CAN use cash intelligently."

'nuff said!

Sometimes some cash can help you execute faster on the plan you already have. As illustrated by the scene form "The Social Network" where Zuckerberg says he wants to expand to 100 schools, and Parker says "'I'll put you on two continents."

So, with this $100M, they can really dominate the code hosting market?

There's a reasonable case to be made that they're either going to or already dominate the code hosting market anyways, depending on how big you define it. The only way $100M makes sense is if they're expanding into one or multiple other things.

Well, a natural focal point is enterprise. I could imagine (this is pure speculation) that there are a number of fairly cumbersome features holding back some large enterprise customers, but which has been de-prioritized in favor of the cloud product where gains are more immediate and viral. In general, there are probably many teams holding back on GitHub because of some missing feature which didn't make sense to build while they were bootstrapped.

And then, yes, there's expanding into adjacent verticals. They're already there with wikis and issue tracking, so it's not a virgin territory strategy.

I agree with your assessment. Deploying into enterprise takes a good chunk of money to deal with the countless "last mile" issues. Also, you start needing an enterprise sales team. Even if you use the Atlassian model, there's limited space for that now, because they were basically expanding into vacuum. I don't have a great sense of how big the available market is for "enterprise development management tools", but if Github wants to win there, it's going to have to put some marketing & sales resources into taking away mindshare from Atlassian.

Thinking too small - for a $100M raise to make sense, valuation has to be $1B or higher, and need a 10x total market for VCs to be interested. So $10B to $100B is the target, and they need very large goals to justify it.

[Edit - I guessed $1B-$10B valuation; WSJ says unnamed source cites $750M. If true, congratulations to A16Z, they got a steal.]

Most of github's mission is removing friction in collaboration around code.

Following this theme, likely expansions: removing transactional overhead to add liquidity to the development market ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coase_theorem ) which is badly inelastic in the face of great demand. Less audacious, they may just domainate the recruiting market.

Still on the theme, continuing to push on the need to colocate to be productive - online editing, tools in support of code review, user testing, in-app feedback, platform building/distribution.

Build farms, integration tooling, and support markets also seem plausible but more difficult to see (in the current market) how they could get sufficient uptake to justify the target valuation.

One more, less optimistic: IP/patent/code provenance - lots of money attached to those things.

Not sure why an enterprise would want to host their source code at a separate company when it is just as easy to host their own source control system (git, mercurial, tfs, whatever) with their other cloud services (S3, Azure). I do not think enterprises see their source as a "social" connection, and do not see any benefit to thinking of it as such.

1: GitHub Enterprise is an internally hosted solution. They currently distribute it as a VM image.

2: GitHub >>> git

3: Enterprises very much love social in anything they do, they just call it collaboration. See Sharepoint. Also, the pressure from within to use something like GitHub is only going to increase as new hires have experience with it from the outside.

I do not follow this logic. They have enormously succeeded from the moment of Github's inception to this point. Does it not make sense to invest in them if they believe they can utilize new capital to expand their platform?

In any case the money believes in them. And they are already vetted.

They've never been a capital-intensive business, so it doesn't make great sense to invest substantial sums. Its more likely to change the business to one focused on maximizing profit, rather than improve the product.

Try the analogy where a startup is like a band (I'm not the first to use this). After the band sells out, do you expect better music? As the cliche goes, their artistic integrity is compromised, the members start in-fighting, and the lead singer grows increasingly strung-out on fame and drugs.

If anything, innovation on their product is going to speed up with the funding, then slow down because they hire a ton of engineers who need to be ramped. Then they will plateau.

With funding comes expectations. Github has never had to answer to anyone but their community and customers (and their board, but the board had no real monetary stake in the company outside of stock). Now A16Z has some control over their operations. Not sure what their terms were in the deal, but investment and board members change how a company operates.

Hope for good things and more elaborate octocats

Good points, thanks. I hope this doesn't occur, but we'll see in due time.

I remember reading somewhere that they were looking for extra capital to expand support and such for their Enterprise offering.

I bet nobody here as anything bad to say about the exceptional skills of the github team. However such a huge investment may force them to "overscale" in order to be able to reach the expected return (by the VC).

As some communities, e.g. the Ruby community, is approx. based 99% on github, I fully understand and have a strange feeling myself. Time will tell if TPW and AH can work together and make an even bigger success.

>However such a huge investment may force them to "overscale" in order to be able to reach the expected return (by the VC).

But how can we know that's even an issue? There are a hundred hypotheticals here (both positive and negative), and focusing on the ones that would only be the case were Andreessen Horowitz & GitHub unwise companies seems unnecessarily negative.

Now, if there were reason to think any of them, that'd be one thing. But we only know there was a huge investment in an awesome company from a great VC firm.

I'll leave it to the company to describe what they are going to do (and they talk about some of that in their blog post today). I can say that my partner Peter and I have spent a lot of time with the guys over the last several months, and there is no daylight between their vision of what they want to do, and what we would want them to do.

Oddly, the top two anti-VC comments are from Israeli HN users. I wonder what that says about us.

We could easily argue that you could be ahead of the curve ^^.

This is exactly right.

I can't help but think that this investment marks the Pets.com point in this investment cycle.

GitHub is essentially a web interface to a single open-source DVCS. The switching costs to using another DVCS such as Mercurial (which I personally prefer) or another Git hosting provider are minimal. There are no barriers to entry since Git is and always will be free. There are very few network effect benefits to using GitHub for paying customers who by definition want to keep their code private.

GitHub is a good service and I use it myself, but I'm now increasingly cautious about using it since GitHub are now under serious pressure to deliver pretty spectacular returns to their investors.

In the end I think this investment has less to do with GitHub and more to do with the fact that e.g. yields on 10-year Treasuries are currently under 2%. Investors are desperately looking for any decent returns on their money and throwing it a company like GitHub is just a Hail Mary pass.

GitHub is essentially a web interface to a single open-source DVCS

I don't think GitHub is popular because it's just a web front-end over a DVCS.

I'm basically a mercurial user. Use it for work. Used it for all my personal projects. The commands and workflow seem much cleaner and make much more sense to me than git's. I switched to git for personal projects soley because of GitHub.

Partly because it has a very good user experience and is snappy (bitbucket is slow in comparison) but mostly because that's where everyone else is.

I'd go as far as to say that GitHub has done more for git than git has done for GitHub.

I completely disagree with this.

There is no WAY that anybody ever loved Pets.com the way that I love GitHub.

And I'm not the only one! Not by a long shot.

Your argument is contradictory. If they only need to beat those 2%, they are not under pressure to deliver spectacular returns.

According to the article the valuation is $750m, that means they probably purchased 12.5% for $100m. To generate a 2% return on $100m @ 12.5% implies $16m of distributable profits. Assuming 40% of GitHub is net profit (a generous estimate), this implies $40m in revenue.

That represents 476k 'micro' subscribers in one year, 277k 'small' subscribers, 151k 'medium' subscribers. Cheapest business plan (bronze) would require 133k; most expensive (platinum) would require 16.7k subscriptions. Github announced 1 million users on 21 September 2011. I can't find any details about current #s or the % of paying users.

Remember that all these numbers double if GitHub only has 20% net profit (bear in mind this would be 2.5% higher than the insurance industry, which is an extraordinarily predictable and profitable industry, and oil/gas, the most profitable industry, sits at 25%).

So while not 'spectacular' it's not at all obvious whether they can generate the sales required to generate the return necessary, and the optimistic attitude of people posting here without any numbers to support their conclusions is a bit disturbing (not a reflection on parent's comment, but in general).

Looking at the numbers I'll make the following observations:

- the total market size of potential GitHub users has a fairly low limit (somewhere in the 10s of millions I would guess)

- GitHub has some popularist advantages but ultimately competes on price as far as I can tell (I've started moving to Bitbucket because I see no point in paying for something I can get for free, and the recent hack shows GitHub doesn't offer better security AFAIT); as soon as they gain a larger market share there's no reason to believe competitors won't want in on the action, and as GP points out, switching repository hosts is really easy

- while it looks like they'll be able to generate that 2% return over the next few years I'm struggling to see them generating a much more interesting return based on the numbers I'm looking at

- I have a feeling people are confusing feelings of "GitHub is cool and I like it" for implying that "GitHub should do well as a profit generating business for its investors"; they are also probably fantasizing about having $100m invested in their own startups and taking criticism as personal attacks on this 'plan'

That's not how venture capital funds work. By definition they make high-risk investments which means there is a high variance of returns from the invested companies. Most of the investments will in all probability lose money, which means that those that do make money at all will need to make very good money for the overall fund to break even and beat guaranteed investments like Treasuries.

It should go without saying that Treasuries are risk-free since the government can print dollars to pay back its debts. But in this economy, investors are willing to get negative real returns (i.e., after inflation) on Treasuries since they're more concerned about the return of their money than returns on their money.

(For fairly approachable commentary on the current macro investment climate, I'd recommend reading Bill Gross' monthly columns at http://www.pimco.com/EN/Insights/Pages/InvestmentOutlookOver...)

So, this investments signals a shift in focus. Up until now, github was a long term growth company, a much more stable (if slower growing) setup? Ie, they've shifted gears, more towards a hit or flop kind of scenario, where they have to get fairly big fairly quickly, even if the process means they're at a higher risk of permanently failing.

It doesn't look to me like the people who love and use github have been using it because it looks like it will be stable, and stick around for a while. They seem to have been won over by popularity effects and performance/cool tech factors.

So, if github fails, it may not really be as big of an issue. Github could fail as an investment or company, and still leave a running system behind, up as a non-profit even; the risk to its customers doesn't seem that big. And the potential rewards, depending on how they invest the money, can be really big. There's lots of good work they can still do, that everyone will benefit from.

Go use Bitbucket and tell me it's comparable. It's not. On every level.

I think Bitbucket is pretty good, and has some advantages--most notably that I can have private repositories there without paying. Yes, this may identify me as a cheapskate, but, well.

If anything, I suspect this investment is to make Github more competitive with Bitbucket -- remember, BB's parent company is Atlassian, which has pretty deep enterprise experience they can leverage. You may like GH's issue system better than BB's free one, but a paying BB customer can integrate it seamlessly with Jira and other Atlassian tools.

I do use Bitbucket and it does exactly what I need: track changes to my private source code repos and manage issues.

Does GitHub do some things better than Bitbucket? Sure, but I don't believe that those differences justify a valuation approaching a billion dollars.

Indeed. I use both and have to say that there's nothing killer about both of them. I have my private projects on bitbucket, but feature wise they are interchangeable.

I do honestly prefer Unfuddle.

Saying that Github's switching costs are zero ignores the vibrant community that is in place. It is in effect like saying that Facebook's users have zero switching costs to jump over to Diaspora.

None of what you said is true :-).

So he doesn't use GitHub and he's not cautious about using it?

You're right -- let me reword -- nothing that he wrote is true except for the first half of the third paragraph.

> GitHub is essentially a web interface to a single open-source DVCS.

Maybe I'm missing something, but does GitHub support something other than Git?

> The switching costs to using another [...] Git hosting provider are minimal.

  $ git clone git://github.com/jbarham/stathat-line-counter.git
  $ cd stathat-line-counter/
  $ git remote add bitbucket ssh://git@bitbucket.org/jbarham/stathat-line-counter.git
  $ git push -u bitbucket master
See, it's not so hard.

> There are no barriers to entry since Git is and always will be free.


> yields on 10-year Treasuries are currently under 2%


I've worked in investment management. I know that investors with $100 million to throw around don't have a lot of good places to put their money. No pressure. Good luck.

> GitHub is essentially a web interface to a single open-source DVCS. Maybe I'm missing something, but does GitHub support something other than Git?

The wrong part of that sentence is the word essentially.

GitHub is essentially a social/collaboration app for people who spin code.

The fact that it uses the git distributed version control system is an implementation detail.

The essence of GitHub is in the network of people who use it and how easy it is to do so. Not in the fact that its a (really really) good front-end to a particular tool.

> GitHub is essentially a social/collaboration app for people who spin code.

I'll admit that I'm unenthusiastic about social media in general, so this aspect of GitHub is the one I use the least. I've always found their slogan of "Social Coding" to be a bit of an oxymoron as programming for me is primarily a solitary activity.

Generally I find the design of GitHub to be more refined than Bitbucket (e.g., the README's look better) but it's not something I'd pay for.

I'd argue that the real action for "social collaboration" on open source projects is where it's always been: on mailing lists. The project I've followed most actively the past couple of years has been Go, which is hosted on Google Code, but I very rarely need to go there since I'm on the mailing list.

GitHub recently announced Subversion bridging:


I have to imagine that a chunk of that money is to provide liquidity to the founders, which they very much deserve.

I don't really see how this is a bad thing. They were very much profitable, and were likely able to dictate the terms of the deal. Also, the money came from one of the most, if not THE most, reputable and respected VC firms.

"I don't really see how this is a bad thing." They were independent and profitable company. Now they are virtally deep in debt. Everything they do now will be focused on one thing only - how to pay back that debt. They have people on board who's only goal is to get that loan back in multiples. Every decision from now on will be waged against the question "will it pay back the loan". Independency is lost, now we have company in deep dept, doing desperate things to pay it back. Desperate people in desperate situations make desperate decisions...

Yes, founders maybe took some money off he table, that's good for them, no question. But the company is now troubled.

I think you're not talking about GitHub. Because I see A company which started from zero, revolutionized SCS, socialized coding. Makes a lot of cash, not from advertisement, but from an actual useful product. A Product that people love to use. I think A16Z is a very clever firm that invested in a very solid product.

GitHub has 102 employees. Which means they're already paying around $10M wage in a year and they're profitable. I bet they're at least making $20M per year right now. They're going after the enterprise market which would make them much much more cash.

Do the math. Is it really hard to pay that money back in a company like this ? Is AirBnB, Dropbox, Evernote in trouble ?

Github is not troubled.

$10M/year in wage? That would imply $100k per employee per annum. I understand that it was just a budgetary figure, and I understand the premium that employer-side payroll taxes and benefits add - it is very non-trivial. Still, do you suppose the median wage at GitHub is that high? For everyone? Salespeople, receptionists, accounts payable clerks? Are you sure? I should hope they are spending a good bit less on payroll, even gross and with overhead.

Yes. 100k for developers is definitely on the low end (not even including overhead), and for others it might be on the high end, so assuming most of their employees are developers, 10M is a pretty low estimate of their payroll.

I would be very surprised if most of their staff were developers.

No I am not sure and that's not the point...

They aren't in debt. They sold something like one seventh of their company. That's not enough to lose control of the company in any meaningful sense.

Debt-holders don't control a company either. But when you have somebody's money and the expectation you are going to give them a lot more money in return, it changes things.

You're correct that they haven't lost control, but now they have somebody to answer to. Somebody who just gave them $100m. Somebody with more equity than all but a few of the people involved. Somebody who's powerful and respected and whose job is to push tech companies in the direction of maximum return.

It changes things.

Totally. This is a great deal for everyone.

The founders (probably) achieve some liquidity, the company gets to expand up and out in the market, with the guidance of some of the most experienced investors in the business, the customers get see more resources put towards what is now a very large product, and the investors get to ride the wave that I think will see GitHub reach a few billion dollars valuation.

>I have to imagine that a chunk of that money is to provide liquidity to the founders

That helps explain why the founders sold the equity, but not why the VCs bought it.

Really ?

Company with a proven modal, proven team, proven management and a massive growth opportunity (company hosted Github).

I did not consider the growth opportunity represented by the enterprise market. Sorry for being dense!

(I considered deleting my comment, but my hand was stayed by its having gotten an upvote.)

I hate to crash the party, but this is a very odd move for an awesome company and a service that I use and <3.

Github has always been against taking money. Actually, TPW has used some very harsh words criticizing startups that choose to take VC money.

Now, Github raises 100 gazillion dollars? How the f*ck do they plan on spending that wisely? Sure, it's nice to have that sum in the bank. But, in all honesty, someone has to explain how this is a reasonable move, because I simply don't get it.

Pulling from an old blog post, I don't see any inconsistency.


> The ironic thing about bootstrapping and venture capital is that once you demonstrate some success, investors will come to YOU. When this happens you will be in a much better place to make a more reasoned choice about taking on additional capital and all the complexities that come with it. Talking to VCs with some leverage in your back pocket is an entirely different game from throwing yourself in front of a conference table full of general partners and trying to persuade them that you're worth their time and money. Power is happiness.

I don't see any inconsistency whatsoever between the post you link to and what just happened. Tom was clearly talking about early funding, essentially when you just started, and how that can affect your product and its future. The fact that they raised that much actually proves Tom's point: That you should approach VC money from a strong position, which you can't reach if you start off with VCs watching over you.

Update: This post[1] (Above for the moment) says it better.

[1] http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4220725

Perhaps you misread my comment? I specifically say, "I don't see any inconsistency."

yes I indeed did misread your comment. Sorry about that! I read a couple of threads here and there and the number of comments raising this issue was increasing, so my eye only caught the inconsistency part of it. Sorry again.

There are a couple metaphors here:

1) Burn the ships By committing so strongly to an anti-VC ideology, they forced themselves to focus on profitability. They required themselves to make a sustainable company without the expectations that eventually someone would expand their runway. In the process, they created a very attractive investment opportunity for the trillions of dollars out there sitting on the sidelines looking for the next big thing.

2) Everything has a price

Don't consider this a strike against the github folks, I'm sure they are strong and ethical people, but everything has its price. $100 Million is a lot of money and I'm sure it left the founders with a lot of peace-of-mind that will allow them to focus on building an IPO worthy company.

They haven't done anything immoral and no one gets hurt, rather many people may greatly benefit from this move. They changed their mind like everyone in the world does in the face of smaller sums of money than this.

Good luck Github.

Probably makes it easier for them to sell the company to bigco for $1bn.

After all instagram did something very similar, used VC investment to boost sale price. And it seemed to work very well. Can we expect some surprise news from github? I don't know, but that can sure be one valid reason for raising such money which they clearly don't need to work on the product in it's current form.

That would make AH look like complete fools, judging by the blog post. Not happening.

Why would they look like fools? Investors got 2X in a couple of weeks in insagram's case IIRC.

From github's announcement:

"They (AH) clearly have no interest in the status quo of venture capital."

"we're excited to partner with Andreessen Horowitz to help us make it happen"

"They want to help founders build great companies."

I believe that this is the correct answer.

And that probably explains the anti-VC sentiment. In multi-level marketing (MLM) pyramids, there's a "business" which serves as an investment vehicle for the money to trickle-up: energy juice, women's cosmetics, etc. A cynic sees startups serving the same purpose for VC. Announcements of funding are publicity stunts to pump up the valuation and then dump it in an "exit". The main difference between now and the late 90's, as far as I can tell, is that insiders sell their shares on SecondShare during later rounds, instead of waiting for an IPO to sell them on NASDAQ.

It's not.

Which BigCos would be in the running? MSFT, IBM, GOOG? Anyone else on the list?

Google makes some sense, at this point their Google code has lost out to github for the majority of open source projects.

Whether they could make a return on it would be another thing though.

Maybe they're building their own data center? Or really trying to expand into the enterprise market by going up head to head with Atlassian (expanding their issues and Wiki tools to complete separate packages). All speculation, of course.

Data centers can usually be debt funded - the data center is the security.

They specifically said they are raising this round for their enterprise product. Having the backing of top tier VC gives them more validity within the enterprise. That's probably the main reason. I doubt they needed the money. Very happy for them. The talented team they are building is unstoppable.

I can only imagine that there is a lot of money in Enterprise. A solid support team is exactly what big companies are looking for when they choose to host their code with Github.

The person who figures out how to get movie/music studios and the like to use version control is going to be very, very rich.

Pixar uses Perforce. Over 1000 users, 12 million ops/day, 40 million changelists, 115 million files, >20 TB data, and accessed by 12,000 cpu renderfarm. If you're dealing with large amounts of binary data it's basically a solved problem and Perforce is the answer. An expensive answer but an answer.


They seriously have 40 MM clns? I find that extremely hard to believe.

Same here.

Just curious, what makes you think they don't already use version control prolifically? What opportunity do you see? One studio I'm familiar with has some assets with change history back through to SCCS -- back through RCS, CVS, and P4. These places have long dealt with large groups of people collaborating on shared files that are constantly changing, forking, merging, etc.

I've worked quite a bit in the cgi and 3D graphics side of the industry and at least from what I've seen there the use of version control is lacking to say the least. The de-facto industry standard seems to be a directory full of files with names like scene_latest3_newest_old2.max.

Although it also seems to be more of a cultural issue. There are already pretty good tools from companies like Perforce and Alienbrain, the problem is to convince the artists that there is value in using them. Every time I've suggested it, there has been imitiate pushback and outright rejection from the artists. Even in the places I've seen that use Perforce, most artists seem to see checking in and out as a pointless chore, rather than a vital and helpful part of their workflow

I'm guessing they're working with file formats that can't be diffed or merged. In which case all the version control is doing is just storing the file. Branching, forking or collaboration isn't possible in the way it is with text code.

In that case it really doesn't benefit them at all and is a chore. You'll only get them to use version control if it's hard mandate (good luck) or figure out a way to make it completely transparent to them (something like Time Machine).

I'm sure lots of bigger places do use it. In the world of music, there are studios everywhere that have maybe a dozen staff, making a lot of money and producing a lot of output, where version control is an unheard of concept. No audio production software that I'm aware of has any provision for version control.

I was kindof assuming that it would be the same for mid to smaller sized movie/tv studios as well, but at the same time I wouldn't be surprised to learn that you can get a plugin for Premier or whatever that does it.

I know for a fact that there are many largish advertising agencies out there who have fileservers with hundreds of ProjectName01, ProjectName02 etc style directories.

Why do you think apple brought "Versions" or whatever its called in with lion?

Thanks for clarifying. I agree there are many environments that would benefit from version control but that lack the technical resources to make it happen with existing tech.

Versions (and Time Machine history) are good steps to part of this, in that they are easily available and understandable, but they don't solve the collaboration aspect. How do you diff and merge your local changes into the NEW_final_v2_UPDATED.xls that was emailed to you? I'd summarize the problems as:

- identfying & organizing versions of the same document in ways manageable by normal humans (i.e. not a set of variably-named files spanning email attachments and shared folders, nor a graph of nodes identified by 20-byte hashes, nor a rigid interface to a versioned-file server)

- diffying & merging non-text document types (images, audio, spreadsheets)

I agree this would be a valuable problem to solve well!

I use Sequoia (http://pro.magix.com/en/sequoia/overview.527.html) and I'm very happy with the 'Save Project Copy' function. When I start a new project, I create a 'history' folder and the project copies go in there, named as project_name-timestamp.VIP. I do that every time I'm a stopping point, much like how I use 'git commit' on a code project.

That doesn't mean there isn't huge room for improvement in this arena. An approach like this (or OSX's versions) doesn't allow you to do anything like 'git diff' to see what's changed from version to version. I can imagine this is a very difficult problem for binary data, however. Also, distributed version control on media production software could allow for multiple users to be editing a project simultaneously.

Unfortunately, I don't really see GitHub being able to help much here. For example, any work done to make ProTools files git-friendly wouldn't also work on Photoshop files. I'd love to be wrong about this, but I suspect seeing version control in media production software would require redesigning the application's file format from the ground up, and would be a task for each software company to do on their own.

Not just movie/music studios. Who could reap huge rewards from great distributed version control? Anyone who collaborates on some computer file regularly.

So everyone. Or at least everyone who works in an office.

My own erstwhile field of small business accounting is all about version control. An enormous amount of energy goes into keeping tabs on which file is most current and ensuring that work isn't done in a non-current file.

Same thing for anyone who regularly collaborates on documents or spreadsheets or images: lawyers, advertisers, my friend the outdoor school counselor, journalists, etc.

The state of the art here isn't very good. For all the products out there, I'd guess 90% of actual version control happens via emails. Case in point:

A journalist friend of mine is currently attempting a small intra-office coup to switch from Email/Excel to Asana for scheduling and managing the editing process. It is not going well. Email/Excel will probably win.

But the old people won't be around forever. The opportunities to improve on the state of the art are vast. The amount of energy people spend on keeping current could be dramatically reduced.

Github has plenty of potential.

The movie studios are not so open with software, but almost all of them do use open source software in some way, and most certainly nearly all have developers that use some varying amount of version control.




How about requiring laws to use version control. As it is now bills go into conference committee and no one knows who added what provisions.

How are places like Pixar not already using version control? They do, but I think it is more integrated into their rendering infrastructure.

thingverse is a pretty popular free distribution channel for 3d-printable objects - but there's no way to integrate forks. So people copy an object & improve it, but there's no way to put that fix back into the main line.

Getting these people to use github would be awesome!

$100m to maintain their current product doesn't make sense, but I imagine they're interested in growing (duh). Adding 100 developers and 50+50 sales/support guys could easily eat $25m a year.

Many people do not realize that Github has an enterprise product called github:enterprise. Aside the money they raised for this round, there are also help comes together from the VC, Andreessen Horowitz in this case.

I don't have any experience in enterprise sales. But, from what I know, enterprise isn't a market that the best product always wins. Yes, Github definitely has one of the best products out there. But, they definitely don't have the required experience to push their enterprise product to the market(look at the developers heavy team). The VC will definitely help in this case.

Now, look at another similar product in the market, Atlassion, which raised about 60 millions almost two years ago from Accel. That was also after years of bootstrapping from Atlassian itself. 2 years ago, the funding market was definitely not as good as the funding market today. Yet, Atlassian managed to raise 60 millions. So, the 100 millions Github raised today seems reasonable to me.

enterprise sales are radically different than open source evangelism, b2c sales, and small biz sales.

The difference is (literally and metaphorically) there is are suits involved.

A few key thoughts which are likely to apply:

- Per-customer customizations

- $100K+ per sale per customer

- 3 month to 3 year sales cycles

- Usable on Windows XP and IE6 (most likely).

- Certifications/audits (e.g., ISO9001).

I can easily see hiring 20-30 guys to sell/consult/customize for the enterprise market.

The product market for enterprise VCS/SCM is also quite a bit different. It's no longer enough to make it easy for developers; you need to be able to provide better access controls/security and start managing the code lifecycle.

Github has quite a bit of work ahead of them to be on par with say IBM/Rational ClearCase/ClearQuest or CA Software Change Manager (aka Harvest). Definitely wish them luck.

What do you see as the Clearcase wins vs. github? (I can't think of any, sorry! :) )

I'll readily admit that the core of ClearCase leaves much to be desired from a technology, administration and user perspective. Especially in comparison to git. But that's the difference a few decades of progress can make.

But what's built on top of it are definite wins in comparison to git and Github: UCM and lifecycle integration with ClearQuest.

Most developers don't know how/when to branch. UCM at least sets up a structure and process for that. There's also enough out-of-the-box security to control access to everything that most enterprises would care about. This is supported, documented, etc.

Managing an application's lifecycle is probably far more important in a large organization than most people experience in a small project or startup. Integration with ClearQuest allows everything to be tracked.

Since all of this are essentially "add-ons" to a core versioning tool, there's nothing to say something similar can't be done with git/by Github. It's just that they're not available _now_.

customization, process definition, support, control.

While I don't like Clearcase/clearquest, large companies like them because it allows them to define their own rigid ideas of control within their company. Large companies have a team of people who's job it is to create, manage, and train to that process. Tools like clearcase allow them to create these custom workflows and processes within the company in such a way that they must be follow.

this allow for some pretty complex controls on who can do what, what signoffs must happen for certain code commits, and such.

Git and Github do not offer that fine-grain control that managers of large organizations like. So until you see that type of functionality, don't expect to see Lockheed Martin deploy Github throughout their company.

> - Usable on Windows XP and IE6 (most likely).

I'd imagine a company that needs VCS can handle multiple installed browsers or even virtualized OS:s.

When github says "We are disrupting how software is written in the enterprise", the very first thing that comes to my mind is not catering to companies that won't give up IE6.

For what it's worth, 30 guys at $150k per year is only $4.5MM per year.

Yes, github:fi (renamed to github:enterprise) has really been an afterthought to github. I hope they build up a real support team and market it well, because it's technically superior to the alternatives.

Can't read the full article without an account. Try this:


Screenshot of WSJ article: http://i.imgur.com/jfZLu.png

You make the internet a truly amazing place.

You can use Google's cache of the page: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://...

Clicking on the current page link should still allow you to read the page too, at least it works for me.

This was the only article I could find at the time, but I'm getting you up to the top so others can read.

https://github.com/blog/1189-investing-in-github Straight from them. Congratulations on building such a great business.

I love GitHub, but anyone else felt it was a little immodest for TPW to say they'd "hire Marc" if they could? Can't put it into words, but I don't feel that Tom is in the position to make that statement.

Really, "We wish we could hire them both" irks you?

Sounds to me like a great heuristic for whether a person would be a good investor.

I realize it's a statement of praise, but I think Marc is legendary in the valley and an immensely successful investor/veteran of the business. Implying that he'd be in the running to become an employee at GitHub just felt off. Again, hard to put it into words.

...the entire point of that statement was that he's not in the running.

I found it to be very flattering :-).

Well then, I'm going to go be quiet elsewhere now.

(Hi Marc!)

Yeh...to be honest...that kinda irked me too. It feels like he is trying to assert his "geek cred", by making sure both Marc and Github's users know who is still in charge.

But it feels a bit trite.

That being said, I wish them all the best. The truth is, if there is anyone that I think would be an awesome partner for Github it is AH. So I hope they do awesome stuff together.

Guys, lighten up. It was a joke.

I read this as a commentary on the respect that they feel for him.

"finally" raises funding.

In my mind the $750M valuation is still actually pretty consevative. GitHub has a long long way to go and I see so many great things ahead for the team, but I don't understand why they would raise $100M?

Is this a deal for the founders to take some money off of the table? I don't see what benefits $100M will have for them.

(Don't shoot me for my opinions on this one), but I think it's also really only a matter of time before the legacy systems move from SVN/Mercurial/CVS onto GitHub. Some people use BitBucket (I guess because Atlassian makes some other great software). SourceForge (past it's sell-by-date), and Google Code isn't really suitable for anything other than hosting specific release candidates or tags..

Some people prefer BitBucket because it offers free private repos.

"Little-known social coding start-up".

Got to love the WSJ.

None of my non-programmer/startup friends know who or what a github is so I think that given the WSJ's audience, it's a fair statement.

Yes, "well-known" is context dependent. But I would argue the WSJ chose a poor context. The reader already knows whether or not he/she has heard of Github, so the real question is "are they well-known in their industry?"

Pick any non-consumer-facing industry where the average person doesn't know the players, and everybody is "little known". That doesn't really tell you anything about their actual businesses or reputations.

I agree with you, the wording from the WSJ sounds like they want the investment size to seem ridiculous. How about "quickly growing and profitable software company github..."

No it's not.

Something like "Social coding startup GitHub, hugely popular in the coding world, ...." would be a whole lot clearer.

Little-known, though technically correct, implies that they are not well known in any circle.

I'd go even further, and say that GitHub is incredibly well-known within their target market (developers). Everyone else doesn't matter, as the business will not be built around the general public.

WSJ is supposed to provide good reporting with strong bias towards informing potential investors (as a financial/business news paper). The wording choice doesn't make a strong case for value associated with the company and sounds like some no-name co. just got a pile of money that they are like to lose. (An exaggeration on my part for illustration purposes only.)

...and those that have tend to pronounce it gith•ub, which always cracks me up.

Eventually they'll be an overnight sensation!

I'm sure that's an accurate description for WSJ's audience.

A small, social coding startup that hosts the Linux kernel source tree. And has a cute logo.

> that hosts the Linux kernel source tree

Wasn't that temporary during the kernel.org debacle?

There's a permanent mirror of it: https://github.com/mirrors/linux

It's not official though - anybody can throw up their own kernel mirror

So Linus Torvalds has created two billion-dollar industries in his spare time?

I count 3. Servers on Linux, Android and Git.

I am a paying customer and quite torn over what to think.

On one hand I feel like my favorite indie band just got signed by a major record label. I will lose the intimacy, or cool factor, I felt as I first enjoyed them. However, isn't it better for all to enjoy them? Especially if they have been signed by the best record company of the bunch? I really have no reason to find this analogy a bad thing.

On the other hand I think, why does every company feel the need to take over the world? Can't you be satisfied? At what point have you done enough? I already see Github as a success, and I fear for the founders that true satisfaction will never come. For the most ambitious it probably never does. I do not see this as a good sign for the future of Internet businesses in general. I would rather see more small businesses than fewer large. I think many aspiring hackers have lost a role model today, and VC's everywhere are cheering as a big game trophy has been reeled in.

SharePoint makes Microsoft billions of dollars per year of revenue (the only concrete number I could find was $2B, but it was from a blog that didn't cite sources). If github can pivot from code sharing to general work sharing, $100M doesn't seem like quite so much money.

Edit: $800M/yr in 2007 http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/press/2007/jul07/07-26SP...

Congratulations GitHub!

I'm a bit surprised given their previous stance on VC...



"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"

this "little-known" probably has more revenue than a lot of "well-knowns" out there, and the "bet" here is probably a lot safer too...

CEO Tom Preston-Werner said the company hopes to develop new features but also improve existing ones, such as web applications for different operating systems.

"web applications for different operating systems"?

My guess is they're talking about the various Github desktop clients and he was misquoted...

WTF? Why? What for? What are they planning to do with so much money?

"Because we want to be better. We want to build the best products. We want to solve harder problems. We want to make life easier for more people. The experience and resources of Andreessen Horowitz can help us do that."

I guess they didn't think they were able to build the best products without outside investors.

goes without saying, I hope it doesn't change github for the worse; eventhough history has plenty of counter examples. good luck github.

The minute they change my e-mail address to @github.com I'm setting the world on fire.

Enterprise sales?

That's been around for a while, actually.


Right, the enterprise product has been around. But the process to actually sell enterprise-level products to big companies usually involves long, high-touch sales cycles; as well as quite a bit of initial consulting. My guess is that's what Github will use their $100MM for.

Okay, I think now is the time for GitHub to shut up about being Bootstrap and Bullshit. I think it's high time. I absolutely love the service but this is so lame. Bunch of hypocrites.

> Bootstrapping in business means starting a business without external help or capital.

Keyword: "starting". GitHub has long moved out of the "starting" phase, which has always been bootstrapped for them.

What a great way to ruin a perfectly awesome company.

why would it ruin them? Given the valuation people are talking about, they sold less than 15% of the business - they'll probably retain enough control to do whatever they want with it and probably try new things...

I personally know at least one company that has been profitable from the very beginning and took 3 rounds of VC already, always on the same terms: "we don't need your money, so we'll sell you a very small piece for a large sum and run with it the way we do today". In the end, it's a great way to either cash-out, put some money in the bank to avoid future surprises or launch new experiments/products with minimal risk...

"with minimal risk"

is it possible the maximal risk they encountered when building github with their own cash helped make the great product github is today? history has shown time and time again if you give someone a long enough rope they will hang themselves, doesn't mean that's githubs fate of course, but they're certainly opening a door of influence that wasn't around through the initial building of a great product.

I'm not sure there is a correlation between little money and making great products - that's a link people (specially incubators and accelerators) try to force-feed on everyone's throats, but I'm not convinced if having no money produces better/more companies/products than having "too much" money. Anyway, that's all unrelated to the topic here :-)

If you give someone a short enough rope, they'll never be able to get out of the hole...

What makes you think this will ruin them?

I got five words into that article and hit back to find a different source.

> "Little-known social coding start-up GitHub..."


The Gigaom is a much better read.


Consider the audience of the WSJ. I doubt Github is known to more than 5% of the WJS audience.

It's still a misleading statement. GitHub is HUGE in the coding world. They should acknowledge that.

I'd guess that less than 5% of programmers knows github and/or git.

I'd say you are wrong.

GitHub has 1,784,455 members. That alone is probably 5% of coders.

There are still many millions more people out there that have heard of GitHub, or downloaded code via GitHub, but don't have an account.

They certainly deserve it. They have a clear business model that makes money now and a gorgeous product. Look forward to seeing more Octocat in SOMA :)

I am looking forward to the billboard on 101. If Basho and NewRelic can have one, so can GitHub.

They deserve every penny. And I am sure their revenue has been increasing over time (at least I hope so).

They are a great blueprint on how to spend money wisely and develop features people care about.

Off the top of my head: Company Github accounts, many desktop Github redesigns and performance tweaks, Github for Mac, Github for Windows, and a Github Android App.

And this is only in the past 12 months or so. Amazing company.

Okay, a question:

I have a github (http://github.com/blhack -- nothing too interesting there), but only use it in the "free" way; saving my javascript stuff, and keeping track of some arduino projects.

"Github" and "money" in the same thought here triggered me wondering about maybe buying a monthly plan from them, and letting them host all of my code for work, play, etc. (stuff I'm too embarrassed to release, ha)

Maybe I'm just naive, but how large are most git repos?

You can get a full pizza box, in a rack, with power and data, and plenty of storage for $50/mo.

You could get two redundant linodes for $40/mo.

What are people getting out of github that they are willing to spend as much money as some of these plans cost?

(What I mean is: if this was $5/mo for unlimited repos, I'd have a plan now. But $7/mo for 5? That seems steep)

This reminds me of an email I got from somebody questioning how I could get away with charging $12/mo for my project management app, since the true cost of storing the few hundred or so database records a given account might use is so minimal.

People pay for products that save them time and money. That's it. Yes, I could buy a VPS, figure out how to setup the hosted thing that ships with git, and uh - store git repositories. But that would really suck.

Or I could do what I do now, and pay Github a few hundred a month to manage the dozens of private client repositories my company manages, see who on my team is committing what, and so on.

I pay Github not because they store files for me, but because they've built some really nice software that makes my life easier.

Finally, the issue of cost. If you need a private repository, you probably are writing some code that you (or someone else) deems as proprietary and valuable. Me, and plenty of other people, will gladly pay monthly what equates to less than the cost of a slice of pizza and a drink for what we get in return.

As a person who just used linodes instead of github for awhile, jesus christ, that was an expensive use of my own time managing linux servers that did nothing other than run git.

Especially collaborating with people, that was a pain in the ass.

Feels expensive at first. It is not.

Go with RepositoryHosting.com, 6 bucks a month and you can host 2GB worth of code, unlimited users, repos, git, svn and hg.

Also it backups to your S3 account.

TPW (or some early GH employee) has posted somewhere that yes, the cost of servers on your own is cheaper.

However, the original goal of GitHub was to build a tool that allowed collaboration easier. You pay for the experience and the tools and the network IMO.

Exactly, it's more than just a place to store code. Just doing git clone on your repo url is a lot easier to deal with than setting up your own git hosting and configuring everything.

Ah, gotcha. I guess I was missing out on the social aspect of it.

But I have to wonder: if you're hosting that many private repos...how much does "social" play into it?

You can add collaborators to private repos (ie people with push rights). You can have organizations with private repos and use the collaboration tools within the organization.

For me, the private repos are more about having them where I have my other code.

Change social to collaborative and you've got your answer.

Collaborating with colleagues is a very social endeavor.

Nobody should pay for GitHub just because they need a place to dump their code. If you want free, unlimited, private git repos, just sign up for https://bitbucket.org/

GitHub is what you might choose if you need to work on projects with a team, and want best-of-breed collaboration and code review.

I use BitBucket to host all my solo side projects, and Github for all my open source code. I work with a startup, and we use GitHub for all of our private repos. I love using Github, it's awesome.

If I was starting my own startup, I would definitely choose Github. Bitbucket might provide all the important features, and you can host unlimited private code, for a team of up to 5 users, for free... But in the end, $7 or $12 a month is worth it for the beautiful service that Github provides.

> I use BitBucket to host all my solo side projects,

Exactly. We are forced to split our code base because of the lack of free private repos on GitHub. Free private repos for 1 or 2 users would allow us to post ALL of our code on GitHub and give us the ability to sort it out and clean it up It will then be extremely easy to open-source it from there. Until they offer something free, all of our projects will remain locally stored or split between GitHub and Bitbucket and that code will NEVER get promoted to open source.

Free 'limited collaboration' private repos are the key to GitHub dominating the DVCS world.

I would argue that the pricing is actually one thing that has made Github so popular.

Private repositories are a limited resource on Github for most of us due to the pricing. This encourages people to open up their stuff. Small projects that would be otherwise kept under cover are shown to the world, because we feel more comfortable in showing up unfinished code than putting up another $$/month.

And this same applies especially to cloning. If private repositories were free, quite many would probably tinker with the cloned things in private. "Forcing" us to do it in public has made Github what it is.

> if this was $5/mo for unlimited repos, I'd have a plan now

http://bitbucket.org $0/mo for unlimited repos, you got an even better plan now

One thing most people don't mention about bitbucket is the cost of their plans.

Github: $7/mo for 5 repos, unlimited collaborators.

Bitbucket: $0/mo for unlimited repos, 5 collaborators max. Then, it starts at $10/mo for 10 collaborators and continues at a tiered rate of $1/mo per collaborator until you hit $200/month. Only then is it unlimited on collaborators.

yes, but it's not blhack's use case, from what I read he wants unlimited privates for his own work and the free plan meets his needs.

I derive value from GitHub's services and want to support them (and I do have a $12/month plan), but I wish it scaled a little better for smaller developers who want a tiny number of collaborators (ie, 2 or less) on a large number of small projects.

I have lots of private projects I'd like to host there, but the cost per repo is just too high - especially when they are all pretty small repos. $50/month is a lot to be paying for source control, so I'll probably be looking into bit bucket instead - that is probably a decent option for you to look into also.

> Maybe I'm just naive, but how large are most git repos?

The last 2 private repos I created grew to ~800mb each. And those were rather small projects. (We put PSDs and raw audio into the repo.)

So much negativity here regarding the capital announcement. Github got to where it is now from now investment and you want to know the reason why they accepted such a large amount of capital (it's rather simple), Github are wanting to infiltrate the corporate sector because that's where the money is. Lets be honest the $10 per month I pay for my Github account isn't making any difference, a corporation paying $1000 per month to exclusively use Github to manage their code? Now that's making a difference.

To expand you need cash, take this as a sign that Github is going to expand heavily in every direction. As an avid Githubber I am ecstatic about this, it's a testament to the product and a good sign Github is never going anywhere.

>"a good sign Github is never going anywhere."

Right. Because we've never seen a company take a huge VC investment then disappear.

Probably a bit of an overstatement on my part, but how many companies can say they're highly profitable before even getting venture capital? I can't think of any highly profitable companies off of the top of my head that were highly profitable and took VC investment, can you?

$750M valuation!?

Internet business is conducted in fantasy dollars.

My suspicion is they are going to be putting a lot of effort towards continuing to develop the GUI, for the lack of a better term, for git. IMO, that's what has helped them be successful in the first place. Git is complex and a bit unfriendly at times. They have made it more accessible and it sounds as though their hope is to increase overall engagement in git and version/source management tools.

Who knows, they could be working on their own flavor of git.

I actually forgot github was a business. I'm going to hate to lose their services when they get bought by yahoo or whatever is going to happen :-(

I just hope that the investment will not force Github to change their revenue model. The current private hosting model seems quite adequate. Especially, I hope they won't become the next Geeknet (http://investors.geek.net/) where there are more advertising on the page than hosted FLOSS projects.

Maybe the startup in inhouse-incubator developping new apps in small teams. They clearly have all the required skills to launch a couple of commercial interesting apps per year.

However a burn rate of 25m$/year — The VC wants 100 times the return of his investment. That's imho not doable with the current "monolitic" github business model.

Now I hope they can at least make the watch button work in Opera, maybe even the rest of the BASIC functionality.

"Little known..." ? Granted, Github isn't eBay, but its hardly obscure, especially within its domain space.

The article is otherwise fairly flat about why it might be valued so high. I'm not saying it's fully justified, but the writer clearly did not seem to understand what he was actually writing about.

So, Github taking on some capitalization in order to spur growth in enterprise markets is apparently seen by many on this thread as Github "not keeping it real." (to borrow a "street" analogy.)

What exactly would the individuals complaining about this action do differently?

Congrats to Github - great project, great team. Good work, can't wait to see what's next.

"little known" is actually the reality of how the rest of the world sees the tech startup domain. I am sure I can find people even at HP/IBM who will ask "whats a github"?

Why raise money? I love Github. But this bothered me. I believe they can pretty much earn a lot from their current subscription plans. Why raise? Githuubbb!

With all that money they could buyout their competitors.

I wonder what the percentage the founders are pocketing?

They could be moving into "other" markets as well. Version controlling for design? Think that'd be a huge market especially with a simple interface.

Rumors first circulated in May: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4006017

Their RSS feed has new hires almost every day. I suppose they need to pay all those hires. I wonder why they need quite so many people.

Awesome. Now they can make more font icons.

I hope this doesn't mean everyone now gets free private repos but now with ads served up.

> GitHub tries to become the standard in software coding

Standard. Really?

Damn, github seemed like the perfect model for bootstrapped, they were growing like a weed, seemed to not lack for money from income, etc.

In these situations, I'd really love to know the details-- did they go shopping for investment (love to see that deck!) or did A19Z pursue them and talk them into it?

Probably perfect timing, too, because I think things are going to cool down in 2013.

Anyway, couldn't happen to a nicer company, but I do lament the loss of a bootstrapped example to point to.

FWIW, can't read the wsj article because it is already behind the paywall.

They were the bootstrapped happy ending. They went from zero to market dominator for web services source control, and now they got their payoff for all the work with VC adoration.

2 months ago github was all "we don't need VC funding we're completely profitable"...

What better way to pitch?

Yep. I was involved in a local 'pitch your startup to a room full of investors' conference. Guess who 'won' the contest and had everyone talking about it? The three college kids with a mobile app that flat out said, we don't need your money, we're profitable, we have big deals with major corporations and we're growing fast. We're here to work on our product pitch to people outside our niche for continued growth.

Was that the demo day in Santa Monica in April/May?

Did you not read the article? They want to expand, being profitable does not mean they have the revenue to expand as much as they'd like.

Sure they can be like any startup and get some nieve devs to join up with the whole "We're doing big things and can become huge, you can be a part of this, and be millionaires!". But they'd probably rather give their devs what their worth.

I just happened to be on their About page today and I noticed they'd taken down the "VC money raised - $0.00" section.

Congrats to the fine folks at GitHub!

That went away some time ago, when the latest redesign of the page was put up.

Why can't a company worth nearly a billion dollars just go public? There are thousands of public companies worth less than a billion. So why sell your soul to a VC who could push you into a situation that could make you implode, rather than raise money on an open market and give up less control?

That wasn't really how the Github guys were thinking about their choices, but I'll answer the question as asked...

By raising this round privately instead of going public now, they (a) get a financing partner (us) that completely understands what they're about, wants them to realize their vision, will do anything we can to help them get there, and is in the investment for the long run (10+ years), while (b) avoiding all the pressures and issues that come from being public, which are substantial in the modern era.

Give up less control with a public company, really?

They sold ~13% of the company. Compared to going public, I'm pretty sure they're keeping way more control. Also, going public is extremely expensive and time consuming.

regulatory issues

The implication of VC is that you'll have to sell or go public eventually anyway, so you might as well take the pain and go directly to public if your revenues support it. The general rule being 5 years of $100mm/yr.

When you are just starting out and have no real leverage in the deal, sure. But it sounds like the GitHub guys were the ones holding all the cards in this deal, maybe they made sure the terms of the deal excluded that "general rule".

There is no way a VC would invest if there weren't SOME exit in the future, or at least a convincing story (independent of veracity) told to make it seem that you're open to an exit.

The exit could be M&A (although it would have to be $3-5b to be on-target, and in that range, you need to be able to IPO as a credible alternative when negotiating the M&A).

I guess it's time to move away code from github. Now a VC has insights into all private repositories ... a VC that possibly is funding competition.

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