GitLab celebrated its sixth anniversary as an open source project yesterday and announced a $20 million Series C round of funding led by GV General Partner Dave Munichiello. The company’s CEO Sid Sijbrandij joined Municheiello with guest hosts, Adam Stacoviak and Jerod Santo from The Changelog podcast, for the GitLab live event that aired yesterday.
“When we think about investing, we want to be involved in the fastest-growing companies in the world,” Munichiello said. “We think about that a little differently than most firms in that we are looking for looking for dev-focused tools. We think software will disrupt the enterprises of the future and so we think the best tools that help enable and empower the best software teams will become enormous companies over time. We’re certainly seeing that with GitLab.”
Munichiello said he favors investing in open source because it is “the most secure and the best software in the world.” Although GitLab is a much smaller company than its more prominent rivals GitHub and Bitbucket, it currently dominates the self-hosted Git market with its open source tools. GitLab is used by 100,000 organizations and customers include NASA, the Nasdaq Stock Market, Sony Corp, Comcast, Bayer, among many other large companies.
In addition to the $20 million in funding, the company also announced that it has appointed Matt Mullenweg to its board of directors.
“I’m very excited to announce that Matt Mullenweg, the CEO of Automattic and founder of WordPress decided to join our board,” Sid Sijbrandij said. “He’s a leading figure on how to think about open source and how to build a business on that and a remote-only work culture.” Sijbrandij said GitLab’s board of directors sets the tone for what the company is allowed to spend its money on, how it approaches the balance between open source and closed source, and the features that the team decides to make money with.
“GitLab’s powerful momentum and scaling have a lot of parallels to Automattic and WordPress in their early days,” Mullenweg said. “WordPress had to battle a lot of competitors, and ultimately came out on top as a successful company on an open source business model. I hope to help GitLab achieve the same triumph. Fundamentally, I want to help create the kind of internet that I want to live in and I want my children to live in, one that reaches a global audience and one that is able to make a difference.”
Mullenweg also said he was impressed with GitLab’s transparency and how the company shares many of its internal documents, whether it’s a sales manual or employee onboarding information. GitLab, which employees nearly 200 people, also shares a similar work culture to Automattic, as 100% of the team works remotely.
“Not only being ahead in terms of transparency, GitLab is exciting for me bc I think distributed work is the future of work.” –@photomatt 💻✨
— GitLab (@gitlab) October 9, 2017
When asked if there is anything down the line for collaboration between GitLab and WordPress, Mullenweg said, “It’s definitely something on our minds. Core WordPress is still Trac and Subversion, so I think that it’s not our top priority this year, but in the future it’s definitely on the radar.”
GitLab started with basic version control and an issues tracker. Last year the company announced its first master plan to make GitLab a complete developer solution, which it completed in December 2016. Sijbrandij said the company is aiming to deliver a complete DevOps solution in 2018, a set of tools that unifies the development and operations work into a single user experience.
GitLab has been working towards the goal of supporting the complete DevOps lifecycle by adding tools for application performance monitoring and server monitoring. This enables developers and operations managers to keep tabs on code after it is deployed, while using a single user interface, the same tools, and one permissions model.
“It used to be that development and operations were separate parts in a company and they had their own tools and those tools were different,” Sijbrandij said. “You needed different expertise to operate them. Now devops aims to align and integrate those groups. What happens is people took the tools from two different departments and tried to glue them together. They duck taped the tools together. That’s what you see in traditional devops – the glue between the traditional developer tools and the traditional operating tools, and it’s not a very good experience. We want to take the complete set of tooling we have for development and extend it all the way to operations, so it’s about creating a single application that does both.”
Check out the recording of the GitLab live event below for a more in-depth explanation of Sijbrandij’s vision for creating a complete DevOps solution in 2018.