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What should we learn from Atlassian’s IPO?

Atlassian is a very profitable startup that has 0 investors yet they have managed to be extremely successful and will be going public 12/10 with shares at $21. What was it about Atlassian besides being a great product that allowed Atlassian to reach such success and interest from investors? What should entrepreneurs take away from Atlassian's IPO?


5 Replies

Rodrigo Vaca
1
0
Rodrigo Vaca Entrepreneur • Advisor
Product & Marketing
Just a small factual correction. Atlassian did get outside investment, $60M from Accel in 2010:

http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2010/07/14/accel-invests-60-million-in-atlassian/

Peter Weiss
0
0
Peter Weiss Entrepreneur
President at American Outlook, Inc.
Biggest lesson: execute, execute, execute!

I'm guessing there were three important elements in Atlasssian's success:

First, they are based in Australia, far from the froth and frenzy of Silicon Valley and the major money centers. This may have insulated them from the distraction of deals and fashionable trends and allowed them to focus on the business.

Second, they started in 2002 in the wake of the post-2001 tech crash and 9/11 economic and social earthquakes. Companies started in tough times often stay very tightly focused on stretching capital and keeping customers happy. There have been many academic studies of how the devastation of economic collapses generates vibrant new businesses.

Third, it appears the Atlassian's Founders really believe their rhetoric about teams and customer service and live it in their management choices. Over time this becomes a huge advantage.

One more thought: they took more than thirteen years from founding to IPO - this is mid-range for unicorn IPOs. Patience can be a virtue.
Vijay Goel, MD
2
0
Vijay Goel, MD Entrepreneur • Advisor
Founder Chefalytics, Co-owner Bite Catering Couture, Independent consultant (ex-McKinsey)
Have you looked at Tom Tunguz' analysis on Atlassian metrics and the "flywheel" SaaS model?

http://tomtunguz.com/saas-innovators-solution/
http://tomtunguz.com/atlassian-s-1/


Anton Yakovlev
0
0
Anton Yakovlev Entrepreneur
Founder of four successful businesses on two continents who can help you do the same
Vijay thanks for the links. Very educative.
Sam Hermans
1
0
Sam Hermans Entrepreneur
Information Security | Risk Management | Founder at Lumturio.com
If you are interested in this you should probably check out 37signals.com/rework as they are considered the most 'popular 'internet' company without any funding at all'

Basecamp, formerly known as 37signals, is a privately held American web application company based in Chicago, Illinois.

When asked 'how much are you worth' their answer is 'we don't know and we don't care'.

quora.com/What-is-37signalss-annual-revenue

signalvnoise.com/posts/3908-how-much-are-we-worth-i-dont-know-and-i-dont-care

It's important to know that Atlassian is considered to be one of those 'old-school companies' that used a Enterprise software license / vendor lock-in model that just would not work today. (Think anti virus software and things like that)

I would not call them a 'startup' at all, they were there when the foundation was being laid, being profitable from year one.

There never is a single silver bullet and in the case of Atlassian it's 1,148 employees multiple products (Jira, BitBucket, Bamboo, FishEye, Clover) and years of hard work.

They received a $60 000 000 investment in 2010 by Accel partners and a $150 000 000 investment in 2014.

Without knowing their exact strategy I think it's safe to assume that they found a nice and a need, and then grew by both expanding their customer base as well as up-selling to their existing customers and more recently switching to a SaaS sales strategy.
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