DevOps services vendor JFrog had its initial public offering on Sept. 18, raising the company's public profile and valuation in a stellar debut. The JFrog IPO also has broader implications for the DevOps industry as a whole, as it shows investor interest in the sector and its potential for growth and profit.
JFrog got its start in 2008 building developer tools and had raised $226.5 million in venture funding before it went public on the NASDAQ under the symbol FROG. Today, JFrog has a number of DevOps services, including an artifact repository, continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) and software distribution services.
"We are excited to reach this significant milestone and enter the next exciting phase as a company," Yoav Landman, co-founder and chief technology officer at JFrog, told ITPro Today. "We are focused on continuing to provide our customers with the leading DevOps platform on the market to empower them to build and release software faster and more securely."
What the JFrog IPO Says About the State of DevOps
The worldwide DevOps market is competitive and growing rapidly, according to Landman. In today’s age of digital transformation, software is powering the world and every company has become a software company, whether it is a technology provider, a bank, a retailer or a medical provider, he added.
Other vendors within the DevOps space see a similar trend and are generally optimistic that the JFrog IPO is a good sign for the entire industry. GitLab, which provides a collaborative software version control platform, is among the vendors with a positive view.
"GitLab views the successful adoption of DevOps as the competitive differentiator for nearly every company, and today’s public market activity is further validation of this belief," said Sid Sijbrandij, CEO and co-founder of GitLab.
Other fast-growing DevOps vendors have also taken note of the JFrog IPO and its potential impact. CircleCI has raised $215 million in venture capital, including a $100 million round that was announced in April. On Sept. 16, CircleCI celebrated a milestone of its own, hitting its 1 millionth user after being in business for nine years.
"The market has definitely woken up to the competitive differentiator that software provides," Jim Rose, CEO of CircleCI, told ITPro Today. "I think you’re seeing companies like JFrog and others be successful even in these challenging times because as companies are moving and realizing that maybe today they’re remote-only, but over time they'll need to think about all their processes as being remote-first and resilient to shocks and changes, that the key will rely on having a well-oiled software delivery machine."
Rose added that his company has always recognized the power and influence developers have as customers.
"As more and more people realize this, it bodes well for companies like ours as we’re getting close to that public window," Rose said.
The Buzz Around DevOps
Sacha Labourey, CEO of CloudBees, which is the lead commercial vendor behind the Jenkins open source CI/CD system, is also optimistic about the potential for future financial gains. CloudBees has raised more than $120 million in funding to date.
“JFrog's IPO is a great proxy for the massive digital transformation we are going through," Labourey told ITPro Today. "DevOps is having a significant, positive business impact on companies and is attracting the interest of investors in DevOps, a highly strategic market."
Lessons from a DevOps Vendor That Is Already Public
JFrog is certainly not the first DevOps vendor to have an IPO.
Among the earliest DevOps vendors to go public is Atlassian, which had its IPO in 2015. Atlassian builds and develops a series of widely used DevOps tools, including the Jira issue tracking platform, the Bitbucket code version control system and Confluence collaboration services.
Justine Davis, head of marketing for DevOps at Atlassian, noted that JFrog has actually been a longstanding partner of Atlassian's that helps users understand when they are ready to release.
"Their success affirms that developers will always seek to use the best tools to solve their problem, and no one vendor will own them all in the DevOps space," Davis told ITPro Today. "DevOps is a culture, and a way of working, and the market looks to companies like Atlassian and JFrog to bring best of breed tools together with tight integrations to give them that competitive advantage they need."
In terms of how the 2015 IPO helped Atlassian, Davis said it gave the company more resources to invest back into research and development.
Looking into what's next is now also top of mind at JFrog, as it uses its new fame and fortunes to move forward.
"The next major DevOps challenge will be finding ways to further automate the distribution of software across the extended enterprise as IT organizations continue to embrace edge computing platforms," JFrog's Landman said. "It’s possible that one day there will be more software running on edge computing platforms than in data centers or public clouds."