Atlassian – Funding or A Partial Sale?

Exciting news this morning that Atlassian has obtained a $60 million first round of funding. Atlassian, first founded back in 2002 in Sydney, is a poster child for the bootstrappers – they’ve managed to grow to $59 million in revenue organically.

According to the release the money will be used to:

The money will be used to give some liquidity to the founders and employees, expand its product portfolio, and possibly acquire other startups.

Maybe it’s just semantics but a company that obtains no funding over eight years, grows to tens of millions in revenue and then takes some cash doesn’t feel to me like a funding candidate, rather this feels much more like a partial sale.

Clearly after all this time the founders wanted to gain some liquidity, and that’s perfectly understandable. But the fact that the release mentions founder liquidity before secondary objectives of product expansion suggest to me that this is more about divestment than it is about funding for growth.

Perhaps that’s just a semantic perception on my part but it feels different to me.


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