Why Software Startup GitHub Raised $100 Million When It Didn't Need To

GitHub CEO Tom Preston-WernerGithub CEO Tom Preston-Werner

For a long time, Github’s three founders never thought about raising a round of financing. They bootstrapped the company, which helps developers build software, and hired only when revenue allowed. Revenue was always rolling in; on its first day GitHub generated $1,000. 

Github wasn’t meant to be a huge business. It was supposed to provide a comfortable life for the founders. Eventually, they set their sites on something greater.

“At some point, we stopped thinking of it as a lifestyle business,” Github CEO Tom Preston-Werner tells PandoDaily’s Sarah Lacy.

He says the self-sustaining company raised $100 million for two reasons: to have a “buffer,” and to be “more awesome.”

The way Github was operating before, its margins were thin. “”We were in a phase where we were operating so cash-lean that we had essentially no money in the bank,” he tells Lacy. The $100 million was also easy to raise, and as the investment climate started to change, Preston-Werner wanted to err on the safe side.

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