GitLab CEO weighing options for going public after employee share sale valued company at $6 billion

GitLab CEO Sid Sijbrandij at company occasion in London


GitLab CEO Sid Sijbrandij, recent off an employee share sale that valued his software program start-up at $6 billion, mentioned he is nonetheless trying to take the company public, although he is eyeing many extra options than had been obtainable up to now.

Sijbrandij on Thursday confirmed CNBC’s reporting from late November concerning the company’s valuation in its secondary providing, which allowed staff to promote as much as 20% of their vested fairness. He offered extra particulars on the scale of the deal and the traders in addition to income development and new clients.

GitLab’s cloud-based software program is utilized by builders to share code and collaborate on initiatives. The company, which competes with Microsoft’s GitHub and Atlassian, has seen a increase in demand as extra industries have come to depend on software program and digital instruments to run their operations. GitLab makes a speciality of serving to coders make product updates quicker, decreasing working prices and rushing growth.

GitLab reached $150 million in annual recurring income, Sijbrandij mentioned, after experiencing development of 74% in the newest quarter. During 2020, the company signed three main airways and a journey administration supplier even because the journey trade was pressured to make dramatic cuts due to the pandemic.

“It was the hardest hit industry last year and even they still bought,” mentioned Sibrandij. “It’s been a tough year for many of our customers.”

In its “team handbook” on its web site, GitLab had overtly acknowledged its plan to go public by November of 2020. After the pandemic hit early final 12 months, roiling the broader economic system, the company scrapped the timing for its debut whereas indicating {that a} public itemizing was nonetheless on the roadmap.

Sijbrandij mentioned that he did the secondary to “give our team members the opportunity to benefit from the value we created together.” The $6 billion valuation is up from $2.7 billion valuation in a late 2019 financing spherical.

GitLab allowed present and former staff with vested fairness to promote a mixed whole of 4.9 million shares, bringing the overall providing to $195 million. Investors shopping for the inventory included Alta Park, HMI Capital, OMERS Growth Equity, TCV and Verition. For the transaction, GitLab used Nasdaq Private Market, which makes a speciality of serving to personal corporations present secondary liquidity.

Sijbrandij mentioned there isn’t any timetable for a public market debut, although individuals acquainted with the matter informed CNBC in November that it was more likely to are available 2021. The company has a lot of methods to think about going public that both did not exist or had been comparatively untested previous to final 12 months.

One possibility is a direct itemizing, the trail taken by Spotify, Slack, Palantir and Asana and being pursued by Roblox, which permits staff to promote shares to new traders instantly. Other corporations like Unity, Airbnb and DoorDash, selected a hybrid public sale that permit administration select a worth based mostly on bidding. And there’s the chance to go public by way of a particular function acquisition company (SPAC), or a reverse merger carried out by a so-called blank-check entity.

“There are a lot more options and we’re following the market,” Sijbrandij mentioned. SPACs current an “interesting alternative that’s also on our radar,” he mentioned.

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