Atlassian, the $5.7 billion business software company that also snuck in its much-anticipated IPO at the tail end of 2015, just bought tiny startup StatusPage in its first acquisition since going public.
Notably, Atlassian has a pretty good track record with acquisitions: Its first and still-flagship product, the issue-tracking s0ftware JIRA, was built in-house.
But chat app HipChat and code management tool BitBucket, its two other biggest businesses, both came to Atlassian via acquisition while they were still very young startups.
What the Y Combinator-backed StatusPage brings to the table is all in the name. When a website or service goes down or is having other issues, the company operating the site need a way to tell customers. StatusPage gives an easy way for its customers to quickly build a website that keeps users appraised of the status of their service.
“A service without status is like a mobile phone without service bars,” says Atlassian President Jay Simons, insofar as you have no clue if it’s going to work.
(If you’re anything like me, you probably wish that “Pokémon Go” had this kind of status indicator, to tell when the hit game’s servers are too overloaded so you know to stop trying.)
Right now, StatusPage’s main customers are developer-focused companies like Twilio (another recent IPO) which provides voice and text services to companies like Uber — if you’ve gotten a text saying your Uber is arriving, you’ve used Twilio.
Twilio uses StatusPage to keep customers apprised when something’s gone wrong, so they can plan accordingly. And it can also cut down on the time to fix any problems, since customers are kept in the loop with what, exactly, is wrong, and when it’s expected to be back up.
But more relevantly to Atlassian, StatusPage cofounder Scott Klein says “a huge need has emerged” for his company’s product outside of Silicon Valley, too.
As more and more companies work hard at building software the same way the world’s largest tech companies do, it’s important that even internally, developers and users stay apprised of service and app availability. It plays nicely into Atlassian’s ambitions around helping more companies act like tech companies.
In the future, Simons says, StatusPage will get integrated more tightly with tools like Atlassian JIRA, so that when StatusPage shows that something is wrong, teams can quickly get assigned to fix it. Meanwhile, StatusPage will stay up and available for all customers as it is, indefinitely.
And in a bigger-picture sense, despite the fact that the overall market has shifted and companies like Apple and Salesforce are looking for bargains, Simons says that Atlassian’s philosophy on acquisitions hasn’t changed since it was founded in 2002: Look for small, early companies will good technology and a brand that has the potential to grow.
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