Deals

Growing dev-tool maker Atlassian takes $150M to reward its employees

office workers Vasilis Flickr
Image Credit: Vasilis/Flickr

If your company has more than one developer, they need to collaborate on code, track issues together, and just generally talk.

Atlassian has been in that business since 2002. Its software for collaborating on code and monitoring software issues have become more and more popular over the years. And the company has gradually added revamped its services so that non-coders can get in on conversations, too. Today it’s pulling the covers off a nice, big investment, a $150 million affair led by T. Rowe Price. Dragoneer Investment Group also participated.

“But none of the money has actually gone to Atlassian’s bank account,” company president Jay Simons explained in an interview with VentureBeat this morning. Instead, he said, the investors are buying shares from employees — just as a $60 million investment from Accel Growth in 2010 was intended to buy shares from Atlassian’s founders. The idea now is to reward the company’s employees for all the hard work they’ve done.

Atlassian itself doesn’t need cash, Simons said. It’s been profitable for years. It now carries a $3.3 billion valuation off a $200 million revenue run rate, a spokeswoman wrote in an email to VentureBeat.

In some ways, Atlassian competes with GitHub. Atlassian’s BitBucket and Stash services can store developers’ code, just as GitHub can. But even if a company’s developers use GitHub to do version control for code in the cloud or in on-premises data centers, Atlassian can still fit in. “They’re an integration path,” Simons said of GitHub. Developers, product managers, and other team members can log and track issues in Atlassian’s JIRA software. And they can share lots of different information in the Confluence software.

Atlassian also offers dev-focused software for continuous integration and code review.

Atlassian, based in Sydney, now has 35,000 customers and more than 800 employees. It bought HipChat to add messaging capabilities in 2012.

The company could well go public in the future.

“I think we’re in a class of companies alongside, you know, Workday and companies like that that, I think, can challenge the old guard of enterprise software, and so I think we’ve been on record as saying if you think about a company that is going to be here generations from now, definitely I think an IPO is on that path,” Simons said. He would not comment on timing for a public bid.