GitLab Inc. shares surged in their trading debut Thursday, closing up 35% higher than the DevOps software company’s initial public offering price.
Late Wednesday, GitLab priced its stock at $77 a share, well above its already elevated range. On Tuesday, GitLab hiked its expected pricing range to between $66 and $69 a share, up from a forecast last week of $55 to $60 a share. Wednesday’s pricing values the company at $11 billion, based on 143 million shares expected to be outstanding after the offering.
The IPO has been in the works for a little more than a year. In fact, GitLab Chief Financial Officer Brian Robins, who’s only been with the company for 13 months, was hired, in part, in preparation for the IPO.
“I came on with a mandate to bring the company public,” Robins told eLesor in an interview. “I started day one on IPO readiness.”
Robins formerly worked as CFO at software company Sisense; cybersecurity company Cylance, which was acquired by Blackberry Ltd.
The all-remote software company specializes in so-called DevOps software, which allows software developers and operators to collaborate on projects to provide faster and more relevant software updates to their internal systems on a near-constant basis.
The company believes it was the largest all-remote company pre-pandemic and uses that experience to provide companies with free remote-work consulting, Robins said. On the company’s website, it provides a guide on how to run an all-remote workforce.
Regarding its most direct competitor, GitHub, which was acquired by Microsoft Corp.
“From a Microsoft perspective, we don’t see Microsoft in that many deals,” Robins told eLesor. “It’s not the majority of deals. And when Microsoft is in a deal, our win rate is the same with them in it, as when they’re not in it. If you took our revenue and Microsoft’s GitHub revenue combined, we are a fraction of the $40 billion market out there.”
“Both of us are competing against DIY — do-it-yourself — DevOps,” Robins said, referring to the DevOps market as one of the most underpenetrated software markets out there.
Robins noted that one large S&P 500
The stock’s strong debut comes on a day of relatively strong investor interest in IPOs, as the Renaissance IPO exchange-traded fund