Atlassian's NASDAQ debut sees stock skyrocket 32 percent

Australian tech startup Atlassian's listing on the NASDAQ was the biggest ever float from an Australian company on the US market, which saw stock eventually close at $27.78.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

Australian tech phenomenon Atlassian has seen its stock soar 32 percent after listing on the NASDAQ stock market in the United States overnight.

Hitting the boards on Thursday in New York under the code name TEAM, the tech stock debuted at $27.67, up from the $21 premium investors paid during the company's initial public offering.

It ticked higher to a peak of $28.50 before settling to trade strongly around the $27 mark throughout the session, eventually closing on $27.78, up 32 per cent.

Atlassian's listing on the NASDAQ is the biggest ever float from an Australian company on US markets, with the heavily oversubscribed IPO valuing the company at $4.38 billion (AU$6.01 billion).

Its closing share price puts the company's market value at nearly AU$8 billion. Proir to listing, Atlassian was valued at AU$5.6 billion under a $19 to $20 share purchase price for 22 million shares.

The Sydney-based software maker develops and licences a range of workplace collaboration tools including Jira and Confluence and counts Facebook, NASA, and Toyota among its 51,000 customers around the world.

Founders Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar, both 33, rang the opening market bell to celebrate their company's listing.

Cannon-Brookes, who owns 33.3 per cent of the company, shared his excitement on Twitter.

"What an amazing day. Thank you to every Atlassian. Huge step on the journey. We are now officially public. Go TEAM!," he wrote.

Listing on the stock market also marks the first time in the company's 13-year history that it will raise any external financing.

Last month, Atlassian said in its filing with the US Securities Exchange Commission, it intends to use the proceeds from the IPO for that working capital, operating expenses, and capital expenditures, as well as to acquire other businesses, products, services, and technologies.

Additionally, it revealed at the time that the company has maintained profitability for the last 10 years, citing between fiscal 2013 and 2015 the compound annual growth rate was 46.7 percent, resulting in $319.5 million of total revenue for fiscal 2015. Just over 50 percent of the company's revenue for FY15 was a result of maintenance charges.

The company's financial statement also showed between FY14 and FY15 it nearly doubled its investment in research and development, and as a result total operating expenses increased from $155.6 million to $266.2 million during the two financial years. Operating income dipped to $0.4 million in FY15 from $21.5 million in FY14.

In April, Atlassian acquired French video conferencing firm, Blue Jimp, for an undisclosed amount. Following the acquisition of Blue Jimp, the firm bought chat and messaging app Hall in a bid to support the HipChat platform.

The startup 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 committed AU$1.1 billion in funding as part of its National Innovation and Science Agenda. The financial backing will be used to incentivise innovation and entrepreneurship, reward risk taking, and promote science, maths, and computing 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," said Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

"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."

With AAP

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