If only we could include emojis in headlines – we would be leading with that little round yellow eye-roller at the news that Australian dotcom super star Atlassian will spend more than half a billion Australian dollars – the bulk of it in cash – buying  Trello.

It’s target is a five year old collaboration service with 19 million registered users in a hundred countries that seeks to solve the challenge of capturing and adding structure to fluid, fast-forming work for teams.

You might assume from our tone – and with some justification – that the price seems a little toppy to us (In fairness investors have reacted positively to the news.)

According to a comany statement, “The acquisition is valued at approximately $US425 million, which is comprised of approximately $US360 million in cash and the remainder in Atlassian restricted shares, restricted share units and options to acquire Atlassian shares, all subject to continued vesting provisions.”

Atlassian says the acquisition will expand its leadership in powering all types of teamwork, adding a new collaboration service – popular with business teams – to the company’s enterprise-grade project tracking (JIRA), content (Confluence) and communication (HipChat) products used by more than 65,000 organizations in 170 countries.

“Atlassian knows more about how teams work than any company on the planet, which is why our collaboration suite powers teams of all shapes and sizes, from bleeding-edge startups to the Fortune 50,” said Mike Cannon-Brookes, Atlassian’s co-Founder and co-CEO. “There is no silver bullet for teamwork. Teams have diverse ways of working and require a broad set of tools that adapt to their specific needs. Trello has built an incredibly sticky and useful product for organizing nearly any type of information simply and quickly. The addition of Trello will be a great complement to our existing portfolio of team collaboration software as we look to reach the 1 billion knowledge workers globally.”

As to the justification for the price, is its statement announcing the deal, Atlassian argues;  “Trello is one of the fastest growing cloud collaboration services, nearly doubling its registered users to 19 million over the past year. Its simple versatility does for the new era of team productivity what Microsoft Excel did for the previous era of individual productivity. Similar to how Excel’s powerful simplicity was applied to everything from shopping lists to Fortune 100 financial models, Trello is reshaping how a wide variety of information is organized and shared between teams from the United Nations and Red Cross to Google, Fender Music, John Deere and National Geographic.”

“We share Atlassian’s mission of unleashing the power of all teams. As part of Atlassian, we will accelerate our efforts and continue to champion teams everywhere,” said Michael Pryor, Trello’s CEO. “Atlassian’s deep investments in research and development will help augment Trello’s product offering. And the broader team collaboration portfolio Trello will integrate with will let us help customers in new and exciting ways.”


In addition to launching a new version of its existing Trello integration for HipChat, Atlassian will be launching Trello integrations for its other leading collaboration products, including JIRA Software, Confluence and Bitbucket. The integrations will be available in the Atlassian Marketplace, which is one of the largest enterprise software marketplaces in the world along with Amazon’s AWS Marketplace and Salesforce.com‘s AppExchange. The Atlassian Marketplace includes more than 2,000 add-ons and extensions and has generated more than $200 million in lifetime sales.

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