The business of selling and hosting software repositories only became more competitive in July. Yesterday, GitHub announced that it would be receiving a US$100-million investment from venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. That same month, Perforce announced its availability as a hosted repository through collaborative SaaS tool provider Assembla.

The news from GitHub was a veritable Valley love-fest. Andreessen Horowitz is the venture capital firm founded by Marc Andreessen, cofounder of Netscape. The $100-million investment round was also joined by Silicon Valley legend Ron Conway, making for two very heavy technology hitters backing GitHub.

But that is to be expected, as GitHub has taken its sweet time finding investors. The company was founded in 2008 and has been profitable since that time, so GitHub’s founders have been reluctant to accept investment. The company has been running on a shoestring staff and budget for some time, and has yet even to hire marketing and public relations personnel or contractors.

But those trappings of a successful company shouldn’t be far off. Tom Preston-Werner, cofounder of GitHub, said that one of the specific reasons behind the company’s decision to finally take investment capital from Andreessen Horowitz was Marc Andreesen’s popular “Software is Eating the World” philosophy.

Answering the question “Why bother taking investment capital when GitHub is already profitable?” Preston-Werner responded: “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.”

Bigger buckets
GitHub was not the only hosted repository service to make news this month. Perforce announced on July 6 that it would begin offering a hosted version of its repositories through Assembla. Previously, Perforce had only offered online hosted repositories for test drives, not for actual day-to-day use.

About Alex Handy