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Atlassian, the Anti-Silicon Valley Tech IPO

Atlassian built a $300 million-plus software business by avoiding venture capital and spending little on sales and marketing.


For investors in U.S. software companies, nothing about Atlassian looks familiar.

In addition to its Australian roots, Atlassian, which sells software that helps developers and technical teams collaborate on projects, has been private for 13 years without ever raising outside capital. And we now know, from the company’s IPO prospectus filed on Monday, that the two co-founders each own a startling 38 percent of the company.

Here’s what’s really bizarre: Atlassian spends a tiny percentage of revenue — 21 percent — on selling its stuff. In fiscal 2015, which ended in June, Atlassian generated revenue of $319.5 million and spent $68 million on sales and marketing.

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