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How Does GitHub Make Money (Business and Revenue Model)

The GitHub business model

How Does GitHub Make Money?
Here’s what you should know:
  • What is GitHub, and how does it work?
  • How does GitHub make money?
  • Subscription Service
  • GitHub Education
  • GitHub Marketplace
  • Providing Professional Services
  • Private Repository Hosting (For GitHub Actions)
  • GitHub Premium Support (Upgrade)
  • Acquisition by Microsoft
  • GitHub’s profit and revenue
  • What is the GitHub business and revenue model?
  • GitHub’s funding and valuation

So you use GitHub and wonder “How does GitHub make money?” Here is a full, in-depth, breakdown of their six (6) revenue streams and the different products and services they offer, as well as the GitHub business model, their year-over-year revenue, and how GitHub works.

What is GitHub, and how does it work?

GitHub is a collaborative online hub for software development, providing code hosting services and version control for developers to build open source software.

Founded in 2008 by Chris WanstrathP. J. HyettTom Preston-Werner, and Scott Chacon, GitHub has since become the largest developer community in the world before later going on to be acquired by Microsoft on October 26, 2018, for $7.5 billion.

How does GitHub make money?

As of September 2020, GitHub has over 56 million users with an account on their platform. Including more than 1 million teachers, students, and schools who use the GitHub Education service to teach. Serving clients like Harvard University and UC Berkeley.

So, how does GitHub make money off of those 56 million users?

Below we’ll discuss the GitHub revenue model and give a breakdown of all the different services they offer, including how much money they make off of each.

Here are the 6 ways of how GitHub makes money (in 2021):

GitHub has a revenue model that makes money in six (6) ways.

#1. Subscription Service

One of GitHub’s more apparent sources of revenue is its subscription service. They offer monthly plans with 4 different pricing tiers – Free, Team, Enterprise, and GitHub One – each offering its own set of benefits.

GitHub Subscription Pricing:

  • Free: $0
  • Team: $4 per user, per month
  • Enterprise: $21 per user, per month
  • GitHub One: contact sales

Note: GitHub slashed the price of the “GitHub Team” tier by more than half – costing $9 per month back in April 2020.

#2. GitHub Education

GitHub Education helps simplify the learning and teaching process for students, teachers, and schools.

Since launching it in 2016, more than 1 million teachers, students, and schools use GitHub for education, according to GitHub. Some notable universities include the likes of Harvard and UC Berkeley.

Some of the services GitHub offers in this space are things like providing expert training for students and the GitHub Classroom for teachers.

GitHub Education Pricing:

  • Standard University: 25% off GitHub Enterprise, per seat license (for schools and universities)
  • University Unlimited: $50k per year (for schools and universities)
GitHub Classroom | GitHub Business Model
Source: GitHub Classroom

Note: GitHub makes money off of their educational services through students, teachers, and schools. Each package offers free benefits, with additional add-on benefits for those students, teachers, and schools.

#3. GitHub Marketplace

A service that launched in 2017, the GitHub Marketplace is a space where developers can list their tools for purchase and where others can discover those tools to improve their workflow.

GitHub makes money off of this service by taking a 5% cut of each sale made on the marketplace.

GitHub Marketplace Pricing:

  • 5% of all transaction income
Marketplace Business Model
Source: GitHub Marketplace

Note: Before January 1, 2021, GitHub took 25% of all transaction income – they have since changed that to 5%.

#4. Providing Professional Services

GitHub also offering professional services. According to GitHub, “‘Professional Services’ means training, consulting, or implementation services that we provide to you pursuant to this Statement of Work (or any other SOW entered into under the Agreement).”

There are no prices listed for how much these services cost, but they offer a number of them that fall under two categories: Packages and Offerings.

Professional Services | How Does GitHub Make Money?
Source: GitHub Professional Services

#5. Private Repository Hosting (For GitHub Actions)

GitHub Actions is a way to build, test, and deploy your code right from within GitHub through repositories. Public repositories are free, but private repositories come at a cost.

The cost is calculated by multiplying the overage minutes used by the operating systems used to run the jobs. At the end of the month, GitHub rounds the data transfer to the nearest GB and bills you on that.

The amount of minutes available for actions depends on the user’s subscription plan, and each additional minute over what’s included in that plan costs extra.

Additional Hosted Minutes Cost:

  • Self-hosted: Free
  • Linux: $0.008 per minute
  • Windows: $0.016 per minute
  • macOS: $0.08 per minute
GitHub Actions | GitHub Business Model
Source: GitHub Actions

#6. GitHub Premium Support (Upgrade)

They also offer a service that is only available to its monthly Enterprise users. GitHub Premium Support provides 24/7 help support that is available in three tiers – Enterprise, Premium, and Premium Plus.

Premium Support
Source: GitHub Premium Support

Note: Premium support cost is unknown and not available on the GitHub website.

Acquisition by Microsoft

On October 26, 2018, Microsoft closed the deal on acquiring the code-sharing platform, GitHub, for $7.5 billion.

Before this, Microsoft was a major customer and user of the GitHub service. Using it to develop open source projects like Visual Studio Code, .NET Core, Windows Terminal, among many others.

What is the GitHub business and revenue model?

GitHub makes money through a few revenue models that they combine within their company, they are:

  • Freemium (upselling) business model
  • Software as a service (SaaS) business model
  • Marketplace business model

GitHub’s funding and valuation

According to GitHub’s Crunchbase profile, GitHub has raised $350 million over 4 rounds and has a valuation of $7.5 billion – at least to Microsoft at the time of their $7.5 billion acquisition of GitHub.

GitHub‘s profit and revenue

GitHub does not publicly disclose its earnings. But, at the time of the Microsoft acquisition in 2018, GitHub had reported revenues of $200 to $300 million.