Atlassian, the hottest company on the market is set to be the largest Australian tech IPO, valued at an estimated $3.6 billion. The Australian tech company set to list on the US NASDAQ before the end of the year under the ticker name, TEAM. Having filed on the 9th of November with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, a roadshow is set to take place on 30th of November and trading to commence the following week.
Specialising in cloud-based team collaboration software Atlassian is known for products such as JIRA, a planning and project management software, Confluence, content and sharing software and HipChat, an online instant messaging platform. Atlassian was founded in 2002 by co-CEOs Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannons-Brookes who each own 37.7% of the company. Since its founding, the company has only raised two rounds of external funding from Accel Partners who were early investors in success stories like Facebook and Xero and Dragoneer Investments.
Atlassian has built a strong brand not with heavy marketing and salesforce strategies but via word-of-mouth through its community of users. Today, Atlassian has 5 million active monthly users and aims to reach 100 million monthly users in the next decade. Having been profitable for the past 10 years, the company’s aggressive growth strategy can be seen in this year’s drop in net income from US$18.98m in 2014 to US$6.78m in 2015 due to its deep ongoing investment in R&D. Atlassian is a true global business with clients including PayPal, NASA, Tesla and Adobe.
So why is Australia’s gem listing offshore? Why not on the ASX? The answer is simple.
There is simply more readily available capital offshore and technology optimistic investors than here in Australia.
Australian investors are known for their conservative appetite and risk-averseness, preferring to invest in real assets like property. The risk takers who’ve funded Australia’s resources listings have not moved over to technology listings since the mining boom died. Furthermore, ASX-listed companies are known for their dividend payouts compared to companies listed on NASDAQ and other foreign exchanges. As detailed in the SEC filing, there will be no dividends from Atlassian in the foreseeable future for the purpose of reinvesting funds back into R&D.
Our view at Cube Capital is a mixture of delight to see an Australian tech-icon like Atlassian IPO on the global market, yet we’re sad to see a huge loss for the Australian economy. Australians can’t simply keep wishing and waiting for the “next Facebook or Google” to be born here when our investor environment is unwelcoming.
The Atlassian IPO will raise US$370 million with the sale of 20 million shares on offer at between $16.50 and $18.50 per share, driving the valuation of the company to $3.6 billion. This represents an 11x times revenue multiple in the Software as Service sector. The founders will retain tight control of the company under a dual class share system, like Facebook and Google, which will ensure the founders will have majority voting rights.
Incorporated in the UK and listing in the US, Atlassian will not be subject to the same disclosure rules and accounting standards as domestic companies on the NASDAQ. Atlassian’s IPO is underwritten by joint-lead managers, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley with other additional co-bookrunning managers.