Atlassian worth AU$5.6b pre-NASDAQ listing

Australian tech startup Atlassian will be worth AU$5.6 billion under the $19 to $20 share purchase price for 22 million shares.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

Australia's most successful startup, software company Atlassian, now has an estimated market worth of over AU$5.6 billion in the lead up to list on NASDAQ, the world's largest technology stock exchange.

The software startup announced in September that it was planning an initial public offering (IPO) in the United States after receiving interest from investors in Silicon Valley.

Atlassian is now set to sell 22 million shares priced between $19 and $20 per share, after last week planning to price them between $16.50 to $18.50, according to an updated prospectus filed to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Should the shares be sold at $19.50 apiece, Atlassian will raise $400.6 million (AU$551.3 million) in sales, growing to a market valuation of $4.07 billion (AU$5.6 billion) -- around $770 million higher than the $3.3 billion previously predicted.

"Atlassian's initial share price offer was considered middle of the road, probably on the fact that they'd just seen the fairly poor listings of two US unicorns [a startup with a value of more than $1 billion]," said IG market analyst Evan Lucas.

"But clearly, the range they're getting is not that anymore, and it's pretty much on the premium side and above it."

Lucas said investors are attracted to Atlassian because of its successful 10-year profitable track record.

"Atlassian's got proven history, it's been around since 2002, and if you wanted to make an argument out of it, you could say that it's actually old, very old in this space. It's got a bit more of a base behind it."

Atlassian, founded by Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar, has continually expanded since its launch in 2002: It acquired French video-conferencing company Blue Jimp in April, released a business version of its bug-tracking program JIRA in October, and bought American chat and messaging app Hall in a bid to support its own HipChat platform in May.

Cannon-Brookes and Farquhar each maintain a 37.7 percent share in the company, while Accel Partners retains a 12.7 percent interest in the company, which it purchased for $60 million in 2010.

The startup had moved its shares and operations to the United Kingdom in early 2014 after receiving approval from the Australian Federal Court, amid complaints in 2013 that it was untenable to raise enough funds to support a startup in Australia thanks to a lack of support from the government.

"I think the local tax laws are a struggle, and I think equity-raising laws are a struggle, too. I'd like to see more of the policy changes to make the startup scene better," Farquhar said in an interview with ZDNet in February 2013.

"Most people, including myself, would recommend to startups to incorporate their companies overseas. I think the government can do a lot more with startups, and I'll keep pounding on that until we see some meaningful traction."

The Australian government has since unveiled its recent National Innovation and Science Agenda, with a commitment of AU$1.1 billion in funding.

The financial backing will be used to support innovation and entrepreneurship, incentivise risk taking, and encourage uptake of science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) subjects in schools.

"Australia is falling behind on measures of commercialisation and collaboration, consistently ranking last or second last among OECD countries for business-research collaboration," Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Monday.

"Our appetite for risk is lower than in comparable countries, which means Australian startups and early stage businesses often fail to attract capital to grow."

An uncapped Entrepreneur Visa will also be introduced to draw in overseas talent. The government additionally committed to injecting AU$8 million into an Incubator Support Program, and to supporting startups in regional areas of the country.

Atlassian will begin trading in the US under the ticker symbol TEAM on Thursday.

With AAP

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