A $3 billion tech company with no outside investors is planning a big IPO

Atlassian

Flickr/Carlfish

Atlassian's 2005 Christmas party in Sydney, Australia.

Australian tech company Atlassian, which makes the popular JIRA Service Desk and HipChat enterprise chat app, is planning an American initial public offering by the end of the year, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

Last year, a report placed the value of the 13-year-old Australian company at $3.3 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.
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An Atlassian IPO, long in the works, would come at a time of great uncertainty around the public markets.

Many startups with valuations of $1 billion or more have been skittish about the idea of going public, although exceptions are Pure Storage and Square. Both are 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.
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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 Summit

Business Insider Australia

Scott Farquhar.

At the time same time, Atlassian faces stiff competition.
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Its flagship JIRA product is incredibly popular as a bug- 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 runs 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 user conference in San Francisco, where it'll share updates with its devoted fan base.

No matter how you slice it, the market for serving developers is heating up.
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Atlassian declined to comment for this story.

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