$10 billion Australian software giant Atlassian is invading Silicon Valley to fortify its position against Microsoft
- Atlassian is opening a big new office in Mountain View, Calif
- The office is eight times larger than its existing office in Mountain View
- Atlassian says it plans to hire engineers and programmers in Silicon Valley
Atlassian, the company behind popular business software like Jira, HipChat, and Trello, is going into November on the right foot: The Australian software giant crushed its most recent quarterly earnings, propelling it above a $10 billion market cap for the first time ever.
For its next act, Atlassian announced this week that it will be opening a new, 130,000 square foot office in Mountain View, Calif., the heart of Silicon Valley, and spitting distance from Google's global headquarters. This new office will be focused on research and development, as Atlassian hustles to stay ahead of competitors like Microsoft and $5 billion Slack.This is only Atlassian's second year in Silicon Valley proper. Last year, the company opened a 16,000-square-foot office, also in Mountain View, to complement its existing three regional headquarters in Sydney, San Francisco, and Austin. It's a sign of how fast the company's Silicon Valley presence is growing, says Atlassian CTO Sri Viswanath.
Viswanath, who joined the company from Groupon almost two years ago, is the executive largely responsible for Atlassian's push into Silicon Valley. He says that the company plans on growing even further in Mountain View, with the intention to staff up significantly with engineers and programmers.
Viswanath won't go into how many engineers Atlassian is looking to hire, but says that the fact the team is going from 16,000 square feet to 130,000 "should give you a sense."
Generally speaking, Viswanath says that the growth in Silicon Valley is a reflection of the importance Atlassian places on R&D. He says that Atlassian has spent about $95 million on research alone this year, which is equal to about 49% of the annual revenue it's generated so far this year.
As for why Silicon Valley at all, Viswanath acknowledges that the zip code carries some baggage with it - hiring is extremely competitive, given its proximity to the likes of Google, Facebook, and Apple. And yet, it's still where Atlassian has to go to find top talent, Viswanath says, making a Silicon Valley office a necessity.Atlassian President Jay Simons tells us that the company is finding it easier to attract that talent than it used to: As Atlassian's trademark Jira bugtracking software and its other products grow in popularity, the company's cachet grows. Plus, Simons says, lots of developers are attracted by Atlassian's strong stance on social issues, with the company's co-CEOs making their support for same-sex marriage in Australia very publicly known.
"We've become more of an attractive employer overall," says Simons.
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