Slack vs. Atlassian: who will win the battle for collaborative work platforms?

by bold-lichterman

Instant discussions between employees, messaging, file exchanges on computer or mobile … Two players want to dominate the sector of collaborative platforms for work. And both plan to go public: Atlassian and Slack.

It is almost done for the first who has just clarified his ambitions for his IPO. In one SEC document, the American market authority, the Australian company specifies that it plans to issue more than 20 million shares in a price range of between 16.5 and 18.5 dollars. An offer which should allow the company founded in 2002 to raise more than 370 million dollars if successful, at the end of the first exchanges scheduled this week.

With such a prospect in the markets, Atlassian is now valued at over $ 3.6 billion and is among the Nasdaq listing of the tech sector of the year. For comparison, Slack, the other collaborative B2B solution, was valued at $ 2.8 billion after it raised $ 160 million from private investors last April.

Atlassian, 46.7% annual growth between 2013 and 2015

Atlassian is notably developing HipChat, a platform that allows employees of the same company to collaborate on video, exchange messages via messaging or even share files. The solution is interoperable with salesforce.com or even Dropbox for example. It also develops other software, such as JIRA Service Desk, for IT services, which allows employees to ask for help when they need it.

Finally, Atlassian claims more than 51,000 customers in its portfolio and $ 319.5 million in revenue for its 2015 fiscal year across all of its activities, up from $ 148.5 million two years earlier. This performance allows it to post compound annual growth of 46.7% between 2013 and 2015.

However, Atlassian has risk factors, particularly in terms of cost. In its document, the company specifies that its distribution model, which is based on cloud or an installation on-premise, is likely to increase its expenses. She hopes her offer cloud, faster to configure, will represent an increasingly important part of its sales while the majority of its revenues historically come from its offers on-premise.

Slack claims 1.1 million daily users

Finally, the company also specifies: “The markets in which we participate are intensely competitive”. And for good reason, opposite Atlassian, another important actor wants to weigh: Slack, which is also developing collaborative work tools.

Its platform also offers similar functionalities: group discussion, private message, file exchange in “drag and drop” mode or even archive search. Marketing its SaaS offers with a monthly subscription for each user, Slack, which came into being in 2013, now claims 1.1 million daily users and more than $ 25 million in sales recurring annual.

To accelerate, its founder recently announced that the company had started an audit of its activity to be ready to go public if necessary. “One of the things that public investors are looking for is predictability, and when you are growing as fast as we are, it’s impossible to predict where we’re going to be in six months,” he explained.