Advanced Computing in the Age of AI|Tuesday, August 11, 2020
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Dev Tool Startup GitLab Gains Traction With Investors 

Among the complaints of enterprises considering hybrid cloud deployments are integration issues, application incompatibility along with a lack of development tools and common APIs. Hence, vendors of collaborative software development tools and platforms are gaining traction with managed workflows designed to speed the development, testing and deployment of software code.

Among them is San Francisco-based GitLab, which this week announced a $20 million Series B funding round led by new investor August Capital. Existing investors Khosla Ventures and Y Combinator also pitched in, raising GitLab's total finding to $25.6 million.

GitLab said this week the new financing would be used to accelerate development and adoption of its platform and collaboration tools. It is targeting enterprise developer teams seeking to scale projects across departments, allowing them to collaborate in real-time while managing workflows and version control.

"This additional capital gives us an incredible opportunity to expand our product offerings, create more collaborative tools and support [development] teams of all sizes," Sid Sijbrandij, GitLab's CEO and co-founder, noted in a statement.

Among the startup's customers are software engineering teams at CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research), the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA) IBM (NYSE: IBM), Dutch financial services giant ING (NYSE: ING), Macy's, NASA and SpaceX.

GitLab released its latest platform in August to bolster its ten-step software development life cycle that spans application conception and coding to testing and production. Later this year, it expects to release an analytics tool designed to fill out its "developer operating system."

The company is betting on a perceived shift by developers away from "disparate tools" ostensibly designed to speed development to open-source tools like GitLab's that the company claims better reflect the way developers actually work. "Enterprises are more open to using open source" as a way of avoiding vendor lock in," Sijbrandij asserted in an interview.

The startup also has been offering code hosting with no additional tooling. That approach attempts to break up development projects into digestible parts since "It's hard to get enough computing for parallel testing of new code, Sijbrandij added.

That's important, the startup insists, because code development has reached the point where every modification is tested before it is integrated into an application or other projects. With the advent of vulnerability scanners and other tools, "These tests are getting better and better," Sijbrandij noted.

These code development factors are also abetting the transition to open source infrastructure like OpenStack cloud platforms. That flexibility is the basis of GitLab's "idea-to-production" development life cycle mantra designed to get new code releases out the door by the 22nd of each month, GitLab's CEO said.

So far, a growing list of investors and Fortune 500 customers appear to agree.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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