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Atlassian share sale sees business soar to $3.5 billion valuation

Atlassian has come a long way from its days in the Smart50 with the business today announcing a share sale which values it at $US3.3 billion ($A3.5b).

The $US150 million sale of equity is designed to provide liquidity to key shareholders who are mainly employees.

The deal makes Atlassian one of the world's most valuable venture-backed businesses.

Founded in 2002 by Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brookes, Atlassian builds software to help IT departments, computer programmers and other professionals work together online.

Farquhar and Cannon-Brookes are now joint chief executives and are set for a major pay day with The Wall Street Journal reporting T. Rowe Price and Dragoneer Investment Capital will purchase up to $150 million in shares from existing shareholders at the valuation of US $3.3 billion.

This means less than 5% of the total value of Atlassian is being exchanged and the business will once again avoid taking on a direct injection of outside funding, following on from the approach used when Atlassian took on funding from Accel partners in 2010.

Accel paid $60 million for a stake in the business then.

By offering shareholders limited liquidity, Atlassian will also be able to put off an initial public offering for a further period of time.

The business decided to move its domicile from Australia to the United Kingdom this year as part of a strategy to get ready for an IPO.

But as Atlassian is generating cash every year that it then reinvests, the company is in no hurry to raise money in the public markets.

“We don’t have the pressure other companies have to get through a public offering,” Cannon-Brookes told The Wall Street Journal.

Atlassian reported revenue of $150 million in the 2013 fiscal year and TechCrunch reports the company has a “current run rate exceeding $200 million in annual revenues.”

So it’s still growing.

SmartCompany contacted Atlassian for comment but did not receive a response prior to publication.

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Cara Waters

SmartCompany editor

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Cara Waters is the editor of SmartCompany. Previously, Cara was a senior reporter at the Financial Times website FT Adviser in London and she also worked for The Sunday Times in London.
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