Microsoft has “acquired” 28 million developers for $7.5 billion

Microsoft has agreed to acquire GitHub, a code sharing platform for software developers, in a $7.5 billion deal that will allow the US technology group to tap into the company’s extensive network of 28 million developers. The transaction is the second significant takeover by Microsoft in recent years under its chief executive Satya Nadella, following its 2016 acquisition of professional networking site LinkedIn. Seattle-based Microsoft will pay for the deal entirely in its own shares, which have surged more than 38 per cent over the past year and briefly saw the company’s market value overtake that of Google-owner Alphabet last week. The $7.5 billion price tag is significantly higher than lossmaking GitHub’s valuation after its previous fundraising round in 2015, when it was valued at around $2 billion. GitHub was founded a decade ago in San Francisco as a tool that allows software developers to store, share and collaborate on their work. It relies on open source software called Git that tracks changes to how the code is tweaked and is thought of as a form of Google Docs for programmers. The company attracted venture capital backing from firms including Sequoia Capital and Andreessen Horowitz. GitHub is used by 1.8 million businesses worldwide, from large companies like Microsoft and Facebook to start-ups.
Arash Massoudi and Hannah Kuchler