China - April 11th, 2022, JiHu (GitLab) (hereinafter referred to as "JiHu") announced the completion of Series A financing agreement signing in the amount of hundreds of millions of RMB. The Series A round was conducted in two phases, with the first phase led by Temasek Holdings followed by Alpha Prime, GGV Capital, Shanghai Artificial Intelligence Industry Investment Fund, and NGP Capital; the second phase was led by Taikang Life Insurance followed by Lenovo Capital & Incubator Group, and Cheers Capital. Previous investors Sequoia CBC Cross-Border Digital Industry Fund and Gaocheng Capital also participated in the round.
JiHu will use the money to strengthen its R&D, expand its market reach, accelerate the building of an open-source ecosystem, and enhance its independent intellectual properties research and development. Moving forward, JiHu will actively explore the open-source commercialization pathway in line with the characteristics of China. Serving as a bridge for China’s open-source community with developers worldwide, JiHu aims to become a key founder in China’s open-source culture and contribute to the growth of China’s open-source industry.
Sam Chen, the founder and CEO of JiHu, states, “With the vision of 'Committed to develop the open-source culture in China', JiHu is dedicated to building a bridge for international open-source cooperation and facilitating China’s technological innovations and self-improvement. We will be vigorous and committed. After this round of financing, we will increase our R&D efforts to better root the achievements of international open-source communities in China and provide vertical industry enterprise-level DevOps solutions for the market. Meanwhile, we will keep promoting and cultivating an open, interconnected, and shared open-source community ecosystem by providing developers a leading open-source innovation and collaboration platform (JihuLab.com). We will also continue to educate and nurture new generations of open-source talents to help create a sustainable and viable Chinese open-source ecosystem.”
"Enterprise software is our focus investment area, and we are particularly interested in localized DevOps tools which we are following closely.” Yao Ge, Managing Partner of NGP Capital said, “As the world's leading provider of DevOps tools, Gitlab has nurtured a mature open-source community leading globally with strong brand and extensive user base. We are excited to participate in this round of investment and hope to accelerate and lead the digital transformation of Chinese enterprises together with them.”
“Sino-Foreign Joint Venture 3.0”: An Independent Chinese Company with International Leading Technology
JiHu is the first Chinese technology company that was established under the “Sino-Foreign Joint Venture 3.0” framework. Unlike a traditional joint venture or a purely homegrown startup, JiHu is enabled with both international technological competitiveness and local operational flexibility since it was established —— JiHu licensed GitLab Inc's technology and related IP to provide an independent and exclusive Chinese distribution of GitLab's DevOps platform available as both a self-managed and SaaS offering (JihuLab.com). As an independent Chinese company, JiHu has independent R&D rights and its board of directors majorly owned by the Chinese shareholders, grant operational decision-making power and equity incentives to the company's local management team.
After a year of business practice, JiHu’s local team has achieved autonomy over its operation and management in its product R&D, decision-making and financing with the ability to quickly respond to Chinese market demand and national development, implement localization strategies and serve local customers. Over the past year, JiHu has independently developed and launched “JiHu GitLab, the Complete DevSecOps Platform”, JiHu Gitlab SaaS (JihuLab.com) and “GitNative, the All-in-One DevOps Solution” that are specifically tailored to the needs of Chinese developers. Abided by the PRC’s “Personal Information Protection Law” and “Data Security Law,” the infrastructure and data of JiHu products are independently stored within China. JiHu GitLab provides users with enhanced built-in security and compliance in areas such as configuration management, data management, vulnerability management, incident response, etc., ensuring the security and compliance of clients’ data while applying open-source technologies.
Based on a “Open Core” product model, JiHu GitLab has been released on the 28thday of the month, keeping at the same pace as the international open-source community. As of today, 13 versions have been released and JiHu has become the 2nd largest enterprise contributor among GitLab’s worldwide open-source community so far. Adhering to its company culture that “Open source and open core, everyone can contribute”, JiHu actively promotes the growth of China’s open-source ecosystem, offers multiple supporting programs to open-source and innovation projects for Chinese universities, developers and startups; provides DevOps training courses; established the Open GitOps Industry Alliance (OGA) with Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) to advance the development of DevOps and Cloud Native technologies in vertical sectors in China.
Deepening Localization: Energizing China’s Open-Source Ecosystem
According to sources, after this round of financing, shares held by GitLab Inc. will be down to less than 50%, which will further solidify the independence of the operation and management model in China. The unique advantages and the confidence in JiHu’s future development have been illustrated by the number of leading investment institutions participating in this Series A-round financing.
In terms of technological innovation, JiHu will fully engage itself in accelerating self-driven R&D to expedite its own product development. At the same time, under the open-core business model, it will continue to develop and reshape the complete DevOps platform in ways that meet the needs of local users. In-depth exploration of cloud-native, software supply chain security and other key technology use cases to help users embrace open-source technology and use it in a better way, to accelerate the software development lifecycle, and accelerate the process of enterprise digital transformation. JiHu has served many highly specialized and innovative enterprises. In the future, it will expand its footprints into intelligent manufacturing, artificial intelligence, IoT and other market segments. It will continue to optimize the user experience of the DevOps platform and to create fertile ground for companies to build technological innovation infrastructure.
Since its inception in the 1980s, the open-source industry has seen rapid development. In China, the open-source software market has reached $100 billion RMB. Over the last year, JiHu has built an independent local operation system, an open-source community while focusing on its own product capabilities, which has won the trust of local users and the support of the leading investment institutions. JiHu will further work with open-source participants to promote a more open and connected open-source ecosystem in China - on the one hand, to collaborate with the leading international open-source technologies to take the roots in China; on the other hand, to help domestic enterprises fully embrace open source, improve their world influence, and to share innovations of cutting-edge technologies with more Chinese users.
About JiHu Information Technology (Hubei) Co., Ltd.
JiHu GitLab is an out-of-the-box, open DevOps platform built from the ground up as a single application for all stages of the DevOps lifecycle. This enables Product, Development, QA, Security, and Operations teams to work concurrently on the same project. JiHu GitLab provides a single data store, user interface, and permission model across the DevOps lifecycle, accelerating software development lifecycle through industry-leading project management, security, and compliance features. JiHu GitLab is independently developed and operated by JiHu Information Technology (Hubei) Co., Ltd. JiHu was founded under the “Sino-Foreign Joint Venture 3.0” framework and is invested by GitLab Inc., Sequoia CBC, Gaocheng Capital, etc.
For more information, please visit the company’s official website: https://gitlab.cn, or subscribe to its WeChat handle “JiHuGitLab”.