As employees and employers have scrambled in recent months to adapt to remote work, nothing has changed for GitLab, except that its founders feel vindicated after years of doubts about whether not having an office would harm productivity and scare off investors. The company, which provides software for developers, is valued at $2.75 billion and employs 1,200 people in 67 countries, all of whom are remote.

GitLab has been fully distributed since it was founded out of Y Combinator in 2015 and far from slowing it down, Darren Murph, the company's head of remote, says eschewing the office — or the co-located model as he calls it — has been a major driver of success.

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Valence, a tech platform and professional network launched last year that connects Black founders, announced its inaugural funding network Thursday. The list includes investors at top firms including Sequoia Capital, Accel and Upfront Ventures.

"For years, Black entrepreneurs have been told that Silicon Valley is a meritocracy, but at the same time most haven't had access to the top networks, the warm introductions, and the mentorship that underpin lasting success in tech. Valence is upending this completely by bringing the top VCs to compete for the best Black entrepreneurs." said Valence co-founder and general partner at Upfront Ventures, Kobie Fuller. "We want to even the playing field with the goal of exponentially growing the number of Black-owned startups that get funded."

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