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With the GitLab IPO underway, Joe Montana is poised to win the biggest venture


Joseph “Joe” Montana, co-founder of the IMFL and retired National Football League (NFL) quarterback, speaks during an interview in San Francisco, California, USA, on Tuesday, April 30, 2013.

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Joe Montana 1 won his first Super Bowl as an NFL quarterback in the first two. Nearly four decades later, he is about to get his first IPO as a venture capitalist.

Montana, who led the San Francisco 49ers to four Super Bowl wins and was inducted into the National Football League Hall of Fame in 2000, has invested in start-ups for the past six years through his firm Liquid 2 Ventures. He started with ারের 28 million in funding and is now closing his third fund which is almost three times larger.

One of Liquid 2’s first investments was announced in July 2015, when a code repository called GitLab collected $ 1.5 million in seeds after going through the Y Combinator incubator program. Gitlab’s valuation at the time was about 12 million, and other funding participants included Khosla Ventures and Ashton Kutcher.

On Thursday, GitLab is set to make its debut on Nasdaq with a market cap of around $ 10 billion, based on a share price of 69 69, the high end of its range. Montana’s initial 100,000 investment, along with some follow-on funds, is worth about 42 42 million at that price.

“We’re all pretty pumped,” We’re 5-year-old Montana said in an interview during a vacation in Italy this week. “It’s going to be a monster for us.”

San Francisco 49ers Joe Montana celebrates # 16 after they scored against Cincinnati Bengals during the Super Bowl XVI on 24 January 1982 at the Silverdome in Pontiac, Mississippi. The Niners won the Super Bowl 26-21.

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It has become a trend in Silicon Valley when famous athletes are doubling up on start-ups-tennis legend Serena Williams-Montana from NBA star Stephen Curry and Andre Iguodala jumped into the game long ago. Prior to Liquid 2, Montana was involved with a firm called HRJ, founded by former 49-year-old stars Harris Burton and Ronnie Lott.

HRJ, which invested directly in funds other than the company, collapsed in 2009 and was sued for failing to meet its financial commitments.

But instead of returning to a game that brought him an executive role or reputation as a broadcaster, like many fellow All-Star quarterbacks, Montana was stuck investing. This time he took a very different path.

Confirmed by Ron Conway

Silicon Valley Super Angel Ron Conway, known for his lucrative bets on Google, Facebook and Airbnb, initially began to show Montana around the world of early-stage investment through the Y Combinator. In Montana, with a growing crop of seed investors and celebrities, Y Combinator will take part in Demo Day, where entrepreneurs show off their company slides that are always up and right.

“We were trying to see what their secret sauce was and who they were looking at and what they were actually looking for,” Montana said, referring to Conway and her team. “He started taking us there, and we started investing a handful here and there, and then he talked me into starting a fundraiser.”

In 2015, Conway was talking to a recent group of founders at the Y Combinator program, and he invited Montana to attend the event. It was there that Montana met Gitlab CEO Sid Siegebrandiz, a Dutch entrepreneur who launched an open-source project to collaborate with developers on code that was selling software packaging and business at a company.

“We got together and said, ‘Hey, this is a special guy,'” Montana said. “We promised that night.”

GitLab had just come out of the Y combinator. In his presentation on Demo Day that March, Siegebrandiz told viewers that his company has 10 employees and 800 contributors working on the open source project. He said GitLab was dynamic for ড 1 million in annual sales and paid customers Apple, Cisco, Disney and Microsoft.

Gitlab CEO Seed Sisbrandiz at the company’s event in London

Gitlab

GitLab now employs more than 1,350 people in more than 65 countries, according to its prospectus. As it prepares to hit the public market on Thursday, GitLab’s annual revenue is more than 230 million. Second-quarter sales jumped 69% to .1 58.1 million

However, as GitLab spends three-quarters of its revenue on sales and marketing, the company recorded a net loss of 40 40.2 million in the most recent quarter. Much of the marketing budget has focused on expanding its DevOps (combination of software development and IT operations) user base.

“To grow new customers, we want to continue to invest in sales and marketing with a focus on replacing DIY DevOps within the larger organization,” the company said in the prospectus.

‘Still listening to the pitch’

For Montana, Gitlab has marked its organization’s first IPO, although he said “we have 12 or 13 more unicorns in our portfolio” including defense technology firm Enduril led by Oculus co-founder Palmer Lukki and autonomous vehicle test start-up applicable insights.

The Montana firm has three more partners: Mike Miller, who co-founded Cloudant and sold it to IBM; Michael’s mother, who sold a start-up to Google and became a product manager there; And Nat’s Montana, Joe’s son, who previously worked on Twitter.

Montana said she is involved in the daily fundraising and attends partners ’meetings every Tuesday. He said his partners, who are more experienced in technology, handle most of the technical perseverance and contract sourcing, while he focuses on helping portfolios with his network connections.

“Until the epidemic, I was still talking across the country,” Montana said, adding that he didn’t start taking salaries until the third fund. “I was talking to companies like SAP, Amex, Visa and many big corporations, like big insurance companies to Burger King.”

Specifically for GitLab, Montana said she initially linked Siegebrandiz to a senior Visa executive when the company wanted to strike a deal with the payment processor.

“I still listen to the pitch, I go to the pitch and do all that,” Montana said. “But it’s better to spend my time now to help these companies connect as they mature.”

Clock: Co-founder and CEO of GitLab about the future of the work during and after the epidemic



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