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Aussie tech startup makes good in US market debut

Friday, December 11, 2015 - 06:54
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An Australian software startup believed to be the country's largest tech firm to go public made a successful debut on Thursday on the Nasdaq exchange.

[NEW YORK] An Australian software startup believed to be the country's largest tech firm to go public made a successful debut on Thursday on the Nasdaq exchange.

Atlassian saw a 32 per cent jump in shares in the first day of trade to close at US$27.78.

Atlassian raised US$400 million with the offering, which gave it a market capitalisation of US$4.1 billion.

IG markets analyst Evan Lucas told AFP this week the listing would be the largest for an Australian tech firm and "our first 'unicorn' listing, which is also quite a special thing," using Silicon Valley parlance for a tech start-up valued at more than a billion dollars in private funding.

Founded by Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar, both in their mid-30s, Atlassian built its success without a sales force because - they say - a good product, downloadable from the Internet, shouldn't need one.

It now has more than 1,300 employees working in five countries and says it has 51,000 customers with clients including eBay, NASA and Netflix using its software tools.

These products include JIRA software for project management, HipChat for messaging, and Confluence for document collaboration.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, a millionaire former merchant banker and tech entrepreneur, this week announced tax concessions and other measures to help grow similar start-ups and foster innovation.

Mr Turnbull has admitted there is a need for a cultural change to better embrace risk and incentivise early stage investment in start-ups in Australia.

AFP

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