Atlassian, a 14-year-old Australian-founded maker of enterprise software, is now one of the most valuable venture-backed companies in the world – currently worth US$3.3 billion (AUD$3.5 billion), a big jump from its former value of USD$1 billion, according to a recent report by the Wall Street Journal.
A fraction of the company’s existing and former employees recently sold their shares for a total of $150 million. The report suggests that the sell-down was not in attempt to reinvest into the company, but to liquidate shares held by senior employees.
Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar, Co-Founders and Co-CEOs of Atlassian, ranked as Shoe String’s Top Male Entrepreneurs of 2014, are believed to own a combined 78 percent in the company and would not be selling their equity in this round.
Founded in 2002, Atlassian has steered away from tradition and employs approximately zero salespeople. This opposed to most enterprise software companies, which invest heavily in salespeople to push products onto new customers.
This saves the company a significant amount of money which is invested into research and development (35 to 40 percent), product innovation and refinement, as well as online marketing (15 to 20 percent), according to the Wall Street Journal.
This strategy is believed to have made the company cash-flow positive each quarter for the past 12 years, with sales increasing 40 percent on average every year for the past five years. The company is expected to deliver $200 million in revenue over the next 12 months.