Atlassian is planning a huge IPO

Australian tech company Atlassian, which makes the popular JIRA helpdesk service and HipChat enterprise chat app, is planning an American IPO by the end of the year, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Last year, a report placed the value of the thirteen-year-old Australian company at $US3.3 billion, with no venture funding — only Accel Partners, T. Rowe Price Group, and Dragoneer Investment Capital managed to buy into Atlassian via secondary share sales.

Even more noteworthy is that Atlassian has relied solely on word-of-mouth and referral sales for its growth, and employs no salespeople.

An Atlassian IPO, long in the works, would come at a time of great unceratinty around the public markets.

Many startups with valuations of $US1 billion or more have been skittish about the idea of going public, although exceptions Pure Storage and Square, both said to be seeking IPOs this year.

A successful Atlassian public offering would probably change the narrative a little bit. Not to mention that it would provide a nice payout for co-CEOs and cofounders Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brookes, given that there’s almost no share dilution.

It also comes at an auspicious time for the company. Thanks to the rise of Silicon Valley, demand for Atlassian’s products and services, many of which serve a base of software developers and tech companies, has never been higher.

Scott Farquhar presenting at Atlassian SummitBusiness Insider AustraliaScott Farquhar presenting at an Atlassian user conference

At the time same time, Atlassian faces stiff competition.

Its flagship JIRA product is incredibly popular as a bugtracker and issue tracker tool. But HipChat is being challenged by startup success story Slack in many markets, and its BitBucket code collaboration tool for programmers run right up against the mega-popular GitHub, which boats over 9 million users.

And speaking of GitHub, the news that Atlassian might be seeking an IPO comes less than a week before GitHub Universe, the venture-backed startup’s first-ever user conference in San Francisco, where it will share updates with its devoted fanbase.

No matter how you slice it, the market for serving developers is heating up.

Atlassian did not respond to a request for a comment by the time of publication.

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