UPDATED 12:00 EST / JANUARY 09 2017


Atlassian shells out $425M to buy team collaboration service Trello

Atlassian Corp. Plc is kicking off the week with a big addition to its collaboration lineup.

The Australian project management giant today announced that it’s acquiring Trello Inc., the startup behind the hugely popular task management service of the same name, for about $425 million. It will pay approximately $360 million in cash and $65 million more in stock. In exchange, Atlassian stands to gain one of the fastest-growing tools in cloud-based collaboration.

Trello more than doubled its installed base over the past year to 19 million users on the back on strong adoption among technical and line-of-business teams. The service allows workers to organize their to-do items on a customizable board using the digital equivalent of Post-it notes. Marketers, for instance, can create a columnar view where advertising copy is grouped based on its status and drag a piece of content to the “Finalized” section when it’s ready to be pushed out.

The fact that Trello is so accessible for non-technical users, who constitute about half of its user base, was one of the main motivations behind Atlassian’s decision to swoop in. Mike Cannon-Brookes, the Australian firm’s cofounder, explained in a blog post that his team has set the goal of reaching 100 million monthly users with its tools. To achieve this objective, Atlassian will need to expand its focus beyond the infrastructure and software professionals who currently make up the bulk of its installed base.

The acquisition of Trello marks a big step in that direction. Short-term, the service is intended to help Atlassian take on its rivals in developer productivity more effectively. GitHub Inc. and GitLab, which compete with the firm in code hosting, last year each introduced native sharing board tools for their respective services.

As for Trello, everything will remain more or less the same in the wake of today’s acquisition, at least for now. Atlassian’s Cannon-Brookes wrote that its service will continue to be offered on a standalone basis and Forbes reported that Chief Executive Michael Pryor is expected to stay in charge of operations. The only major change is that the Australian firm plans to add new integrations between the service and its existing products.

Image courtesy of Trello

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