Microsoft GitHub rival GitLab files to go public after annualized revenue tops $200 million

Key Points
  • GitLab, which was valued at $6 billion in a secondary share sale late last year, filed its IPO prospectus Friday.
  • The company said revenue in the latest quarter climbed 69% to $58.1 million, though its net loss widened to $40.2 million.
  • GitLab competes with Microsoft's GitHub in helping developers share code and collaborate on projects.
GitLab CEO Sid Sijbrandij at company event in London

GitLab, a provider of cloud-based software that allows developers to share code and collaborate on projects, is the latest high-growth tech company to line up for an IPO.

The company said Friday that it plans to list on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol "GTLB." GitLab is raising money to take on Atlassian and GitHub, which Microsoft acquired for $7.5 billion in 2018.

GitLab joins the ranks of cloud software companies gearing up to take advantage of an ongoing bull market that values growth above all else. Toast, which sells software and hardware to help restaurants manage orders and move to takeout, is slated to debut next week, along with Freshworks, a smaller competitor to Salesforce in providing software to customer service and sales organizations.

Revenue at GitLab jumped 69% in the latest quarter from a year earlier to $58.1 million, equaling over $230 million on an annualized basis. However, the company's net loss widened to over $40 million from $9.4 million a year ago.

GitLab said its net revenue retention rate, a key metric for subscription software companies because it shows customer success, climbed to 152% in the July period. That would put it among the top publicly traded software companies.

GitLab is widely known as a pioneer in remote work. While companies were forced to adapt to distributed work during the pandemic, GitLab started that way in 2014 and didn't have to alter much of anything. In the header of its prospectus, Gitlab says "address not applicable."

"Operating remotely allows us access to a global talent pool that enables us to hire talented team members, regardless of location, providing a strong competitive advantage," the filing says. GitLab has 1,350 employees in more than 65 countries.

GitLab was last valued at $6 billion in a secondary financing round that allowed existing shareholders to sell up to 20% of their vested equity. That was up from a $2.7 billion valuation in a late 2019 financing round.

In its "team handbook" on its website, GitLab had openly stated its plan to go public by November 2020. After the pandemic hit early last year, roiling the broader economy, the company scrapped the timing for its debut while indicating that a public listing was still on the roadmap.

GitLab co-founder and CEO Sid Sijbrandij is the company's largest stakeholder, with 18.9% ownership of Class B shares, according to the filing. Khosla Ventures owns 14%.

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