Microsoft reportedly wants to acquire GitHub

Microsoft has reportedly been in talks to acquire code repository GitHub, according to Business Insider. GitHub received a valuation of $2 billion following the closure of a $250 million funding round led by Sequoia Capital in 2015.

Conversations about a potential acquisition have taken place for years, but resumed in earnest in recent months during talks about a potential marketing partnership, sources familiar with the matter told Business Insider. GitHub was reportedly asking for more money than Microsoft was willing to pay. It is not currently known if talks are ongoing.

Reports of Microsoft’s interest in acquiring GitHub first began in 2016, reports GitHub denied.

GitHub has not yet replaced CEO Chris Wanstrath, who left in August 2017. Google executive Sridhar Ramaswamy had been considered for the job at one time, sources said.

As of March, GitHub is used by 24 million people regularly to collaborate and share code and hosts 80 million source code repositories for software in languages like JavaScript, Python, and C++.

In addition to millions of developers, public institutions like NASA and major tech companies have a presence on GitHub, including Google, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft. With more than 1,800 repositories, Microsoft currently shares far more repos than any of its tech giant counterparts.

Y Combinator graduate GitHub was established in 2008 and is based in San Francisco. Over the years, the site has become a central community for developers.

In addition to enterprise and education offerings, GitHub has become a popular destination for sharing open source code for a variety of tasks. Recent examples include Audit AI for detection of bias in algorithms and a deep learning based NLP library from Intel’s AI Lab.

If the deal takes place, Microsoft’s acquisition of GitHub would be one of the biggest recent acquisitions to bring a tech giant closer to the broader developer community since last year, when Google acquired machine learning competition website Kaggle, a service that has been used by more than one million AI developers.

More to come.

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