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  1. What Is
March 27, 2017updated 03 Nov 2022 2:25pm

What is GitHub?

Millions of developers use it, but what is so special about it?

By Joao Lima

GitHub is a source code repository hub for Git. Git was launched in 2005 and is a free and open-source distributed version control system that runs on all major operating systems including Windows, Linux and OS X. It is written in C, Shell, Perl, Tcl and Python.

Two years after Git’s release, in 2007, American software developers Tom Preston-Werner, Chris Wanstrath, and PJ Hyett unveiled GitHub and then officially launched it in 2008.

From individuals to communities and businesses like NASA, Facebook or Microsoft, the platform is used by over 14 million people around the world and has more than 35 million repositories.

Image: Shutterstock

The web-based Git repository hosting service is one of the largest online hubs on the internet where developers can work together on large, medium and/or small open-source projects of any nature.

Beyond its source code offerings on GitHub, the company has also over the last few years been making an enterprise push with its GitHub Enterprise version.

The Enterprise package lets teams of developers use GitHub on their own data centre servers or private cloud, and adds specific features built for that specific business.

GitHub pricing

GitHub is marketed in four different ways. The company has a free version of the platform for public use and open-source projects.

A ‘Personal’ $7 per month allows developers to build their projects on the website and invite other collaborators to join them in unlimited private repositories.

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For $9 a month, users can get the ‘Organisation’ package, which lets them work with their team on in unlimited private repositories, manage the team and also manage user-level permissions.

Lastly, the ‘Enterprise’ version, sold in packs of ten users and billed annually, costs $21 per month. This lets a business host its team’s code on its servers or private cloud with its own security controls.

In Summer 2015, the company was valued at $2bn after securing another multi-million dollar round of funding, according to the WSJ.

The company’s Series A round took place in July 2012, when Andreessen Horowitz invested $100m in the startup. At the time, Bloomberg reported that the company was evaluated at $750m.

In July 2015, the company raised an additional $250m in its Series B. The round was led by Sequoia Capital, and also counted the participation of Andreessen Horowitz, Thrive Capital and Institutional Venture Partners.

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