Gitpod Raises $ 13 Million for Cloud-Based Open Source Software Development Platform



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Gitpod, a cloud-based open source development environment, today revealed that it has raised $ 13 million in a round of funding. The German startup also introduced a handful of new features, including native support for Microsoft’s Visual Studio code editor.

The increase comes amid a boom in activity in the browser-based coding realm, as developers move away from on-premises development environments to the cloud-friendly for collaboration – especially important in a world that quickly switched to remote work. Additionally, local development can be problematic when it comes to testing performance and security because not everyone has the same technological setup as the developer. Moving to the cloud helps get around many of these issues.

“Developers automate the world, but they waste a lot of precious energy manually setting up and maintaining development environments,” Gitpod CEO Sven Efftinge told VentureBeat. “Millions of developers are slowed down daily by tedious tasks to get into a productive state while facing annoying ‘work on my machine’ issues. Our goal is to remove all friction from the developer experience. This makes everyone always ready to code and develop more collaborative, happy and secure software. “


Gitpod largely adheres to a philosophy similar to continuous integration (CI), a popular software engineering practice that involves automatically merging code changes from multiple developers working on the same project. CI is all about making sure developers make smaller changes more frequently and send new code and fixes faster.

From Gitpod’s perspective, ethics essentially means that it “listens” to changes in a git repository and pre-builds the source code whenever someone makes a change to it – those pre-builds, according to Efftinge, are “the key to preparing development environments that are truly code ready.”

“We invented pre-builds so that the application code, configuration, and infrastructure can all be stored as machine-executable code in your git repositories and automatically and continuously applied to development environments,” did he declare. “We prepare your entire development environment before you even start. Only then are you always ready to code with just one click.

This also highlights a licensing limitation of Gitpod’s open-core open-source model, as its self-hosted free tier only includes limited pre-build times.

Gitpod works with all major git platforms, including GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket, allowing developers to build a server-side (i.e. non-local) development environment from any repository in just a few seconds. This includes the IDE (Integrated Development Environment) and all associated tools and dependencies needed to run the project, including compilers, interpreters, runtime environments, build tools, databases, and servers. applications.

In short, Gitpod allows developers to start coding immediately, bypassing the local setup and maintenance process entirely.

Above: running Gitpod directly from a GitLab repository

Cloud-based coding environments aren’t exactly new, like Codenvy – which was acquired by Red Hat four years ago – built on the open source cloud IDE Eclipse Che.

More recently, we’ve seen a slew of cloud-based developer tools, including GitHub’s Code Spaces, launched in Early Access last year and similar to Gitpod in many ways. Then there’s CodeSandbox, which raised $ 12.7 million in October to help developers build an in-browser web application development sandbox; Replit, a browser-based IDE designed for cross-platform collaborative coding that raised $ 20 million in February; and CoScreen, which left stealth last month with $ 4.6 million in funding to bring multi-user screen sharing and editing to remote engineering teams.

Not all of them are exactly the same proposition as Gitpod, but they demonstrate that development environments are moving away from “local”.

Gitpod’s decision last August to release its platform under an open source AGPL license was a big step for the company, a move that gave developers more freedom to deploy Gitpod the way they want, no matter what. via a SaaS subscription managed and hosted by Gitpod or self-hosted on Kubernetes, Amazon’s AWS or Google Cloud Platform. And a native integration with GitLab announced at the end of last year will only add to its appeal.

But Gitpod’s big point is that it’s not purely IDE-driven – it’s about automating development environments in the cloud. The company is currently piloting a feature that allows users to take advantage of Gitpod while working with third-party IDEs like GoLand or IntelliJ and connect to Gitpod containers from their local environment.

“We built Gitpod in such a way that its architecture is scalable and it can also work with other IDEs,” said Efftinge. “The feature is currently still in beta, but [it’s] important to understand our future direction.

Open for business

It’s worth noting that Gitpod’s target market is developers, so embracing open source makes perfect sense. After all, developers play an important role in companies’ software purchasing decisions.

“Making it open source builds trust and allows users to become contributors as well, or at least participate in the development process,” said Efftinge. “From a business point of view, the purchasing power in companies is shifting towards the individual engineer. For Gitpod to be successful, we must win the hearts and minds of the developers. “

Founded in Germany in 2019, Gitpod had previously raised $ 3 million in funding. Its latest injection of $ 13 million was led by General Catalyst, with participation from Speedinvest, Crane Venture Partners and Vertex Ventures. Gitpod claims some 350,000 users, including developers from large companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, Uber, Intel and GitLab, although Gitpod has not confirmed whether the companies are paying customers or not.

“What we can say is that all of these companies have projects where they use Gitpod to streamline their development workflows for their own developers or for external contributors,” said Efftinge.

Along with its funding, Gitpod also announced today that it now supports Docker privileges and sudo (a Linux program for giving temporary root privileges to specific users), which means developers can now run Docker. in their workspaces. And Microsoft’s Visual Studio code will now also work in Gitpod natively. “You get the exact same editing experience as if you had VS Code installed locally,” Efftinge said.


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