Right Before Raising $100 Million, GitHub Rented San Francisco's Ferry Building For A Lavish Party

Github Windows on the Bay party

Photo: Owen Thomas, Business Insider

GitHub, the social coding startup that offers programmers a place to store their code and work on open-source projects, just raised $100 million on a $750 million valuation.To understand why GitHub is worth so much, you have to be a programmer. For them, GitHub is a combination of LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google Docs: It’s at once a place to showcase your skills, talk shop,  store your work, and collaborate with others.

It’s also profitable, from what Github cofounder and CTO Tom Preston-Werner told me recently. GitHub offers code repositories on its public website for free. It charges fees, starting at $7/mo., for private repositories; it also sells GitHub Enterprise, which lets businesses put code on their own servers, behind corporate firewalls.

We spoke with Preston-Werner at a lavish party GitHub threw for itself last month. Ostensibly, the occasion was the launch of a Windows version of its code-management software. It was quite the affair, taking up the entire second floor of San Francisco’s Ferry Building. But since GitHub hadn’t taken a dime of outside capital until today, no one can say the company was blowing investors’ money on a fancy shindig.

The first floor of the Ferry Building is a gourmet marketplace. The second floor is a marble-clad hall with gorgeous views of the Bay.

You can see the ferry terminal and the Bay Bridge from the space.

This is the San Francisco startup life at its best. Nibbles came from gourmet stores in the Ferry Building—the best of Bay Area food culture.

A DJ played under GitHub's famous Octocat logo. True story: GitHub CTO Tom Preston-Werner told me the company paid $5 for the design on a stock-images website.

But GitHub needed to have full rights to the image, so it eventually paid the artist a few thousand dollars to redraw a version the company could call its own.

Dress was decidedly casual. This was a coder party.

The main hall was packed. Hundreds of people showed up.

There was a lot of networking and recruiting going on. GitHub is a great place to determine a coder's skills and interests.

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