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.”
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.
Andy Singleton, founder and CEO of Assembla, said that bringing Perforce to his company’s online collaboration platform was an obvious choice. “We’ve been working on distributed development for a number of years, working on how open-source teams develop to build great software,” he said.
“We’ve been building distributed software development tools for teams. We wrap that with ticketing and task management, and we put that together with an activity stream so people can see what your teams are doing. With the addition of Perforce, we’re really focusing on trying to make distributed teams work better for process. We’re looking for people to contribute changes, which team leaders could review and insert into their code stream.”
The new Perforce on-demand offering from Assembla is available today for free for up to 20 users.