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Atlassian reveals “no bullshit” approach to public listing

Tuesday, 10 November 2015 | By Denham Sadler

Atlassian has officially filed to go public, revealing the Aussie success story has been profitable for the last decade.


It was first reported in September that the software developer would be listing on the Nasdaq in what will be by far the biggest IPO by an Australian tech company, but founders Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brookes remained tight-lipped, until now.


Atlassian has posted a lengthy document on the Securities Exchange Commission detailing its plans for the public listing, in-depth financial figures and giving special emphasis on the startup’s renowned culture.


Although the filing doesn’t specify exactly how much Atlassian will be raising, it’s believed to be around $US250 million. The company was valued at well over $US3 billion by private investors earlier this year.


With much discussion surrounding the tech bubble and supposedly over-priced tech companies, Atlassian’s financial results stand out, with the company being profitable for ten years.


Last financial year saw the company’s revenue jump by nearly 50% year-on-year to $US320 million, with net income of $US6.78 million.


The originally Sydney-based startup’s listing will be handled by investment banks Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, and will go under the ticker ‘TEAM’.


The founders have continually reinforced their plans to maintain control over the company, and with a dual-class stock structure, the pair will retain majority voting power going forward.


The public filing expands on Atlassian’s culture, which is exemplified by a “no bullshit” policy.


“Our culture is at the foundation of everything we do and fuels our business strategy and success,” the SEC prospectus says.


“Our culture of innovation, transparency and dedication to customer service drives our success in implementing and refining this unique approach.”


Atlassian’s other core values include “build with heart and balance, don’t #### the customer, play as a team and be the change you seek”.


“We believe this approach fosters innovation, quality, customer happiness, scale and profitability,” Atlassian wrote.

“These values contribute to a culture that is open, innovative, dedicated to our customers, team-driven and long-term focused, all of which enables us to drive customer value and achieve competitive differentiation.”


Atlassian’s net profits are down year-on-year due to continued R&D spending, the listing says, with the company now boasting nearly 50,000 customers and 5 million monthly active users – all without a sales force.


“We founded our company on the premise that great products could sell themselves and we have developed a unique approach to the market that is centred on this belief,” the prospectus says.


The preamble also includes the company’s great belief in the power and potential of software going into the future.


“We believe that the greatest lever teams have to advance humanity lies in the power of software innovation,” the listing says.


“Software’s transformational impact is forcing organisations to use software to innovate, or face disruption from competitors that do.


“Today, organisations in every industry are becoming software-driven. As a result, the teams that imagine, create and deliver that software are more essential than ever.”


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