Wednesday, April 09, 2014

drag2share: Atlassian, Now Worth $3.3 Billion, Is Helping Employees Pocket $150 Million


Atlassian co-founder Scott Farquhar

While the tech world wrings its hands over  how much money an IPO-bound tech company can lose in the name of sales and marketing, enterprise software company Atlassian has grown into a profitable company valued at $3.3 billion. 

Now it is helping its 800 employees cash out $150 million worth of their equity.

Without any sales people.

That's right, its 35,000+ customers (mostly IT people) in 130 countries (including most of the Fortune 100), buy Atlassian's software on a self-service model. They head to the website, sign up for the cloud service or download the software, and away they go, Atlassian President Jay Simons told Business Insider.

The Sydney, Australia-based company, which makes project management software and chat tools, is on track to hit over $200 million in revenue and has been cash flow positive for 10 years, it says.

Atlassian also has 350 partners worldwide and 1,500 apps in its Atlassian Marketplace that has generated more than $20 million for its app developers, it says. Plus, it's donated 1% of its equity, $3 million to date, to an African education charity called Room to Read.

The company has US offices in San Francisco and Austin. Its success has made its two young co-founders two of the richest people in that country, the Mark Zuckerbergs of Australia.

Like Zuck, its co-founders, Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar, dropped out of college to start their company, using a $10,000 credit card to found it in 2002.

Flash forward 12 years. This month Atlassian will share the wealth with its workers. It agreed to a secondary offering where current and former employees can sell $150 million worth of shares. Mutual-fund gi! ant T. R owe Price is the one mostly buying, the company says. The deal should be completed by mid-April, and it gives Atlassian a $3.3 billion valuation, Reuters reports.

"It gives my co-founder and me great pleasure to offer past and current employees of Atlassian the opportunity for some liquidity at this point in the company's growth," Scott Farquhar, co-CEO and co-founder of Atlassian, said in a written statement emailed to Business Insider.

Atlassian is expected to start its own IPO journey soon, perhaps later this year. Farquhar confirmed to Business Insider that he and Cannon-Brookes dream of running a big public company one day.

The one thing they still have no plans to do: hire salespeople.

SEE ALSO: Oculus founder Palmer Luckey dropped out of college — and so did all these other tech superstars

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