At age 33, Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar are Australia’s youngest billionaires with a net worth of more than $2.66 billion each.
Well, that was the number on Friday morning, and it’s likely their personal wealth will continue to grow astronomically.
The public listing of their business management software company Atlassian on the US technology stock exchange (NASDAQ) overnight on Thursday saw their wealth skyrocket as eager investors helped push up the company’s shares by 32 per cent from their issue price.
By the close of market trading, Mr Cannon-Brookes and Mr Farquhar had each made a paper profit of close to $700 million. Over 24 hours, that works out to almost $30 million per hour, or more than $462,000 per minute.
And the corporate joy doesn’t stop there. Around 100 of Atlassian’s 1,200 staff have become instant millionaires as a result of being issued shares in the company.
It’s been a fantastic journey for Atlassian’s founders.
Known for wearing faded jeans and t-shirts, and attending interviews barefooted, former University of New South Wales IT graduates Mr Cannon-Brookes and Mr Farquhar started Atlassian using a $10,000 credit card in 2001 to build project management software that was launched into the market under the Jira brand.
Within a year they were turning over $1 million. Now Atlassian has a portfolio of business software with an annual turnover of around $US150 million, 30,000 customers worldwide, and 1200 employees.
Its high-profile clients include NASA, Facebook and Twitter.
Following its stock exchange listing on Friday, Atlassian had a market value of $8 billion ($US5.85 billion). Mr Cannon-Brookes and Mr Farquhar each own 33.3 per cent of company’s shares, valuing their combined holdings at $5.33 billion.
“It’s been a pretty amazing day I have to say, and a huge validation of all the work the team in Sydney and around the world have put in over the last 13 years,” Mr Cannon-Brookes told Sky News on Friday.
“I don’t think we knew quite what would happen but we’ve had a lot of investor interest and we know we’ve been disciplined and patient in building the company. So we were more interested in seeing how they would value what we have done.
“The company is all about team collaboration, and our mission is to unleash the potential of every team. We have a whole series of applications for enterprises to do all sorts of team collaboration activities, from project management and messaging, to collaborating around content.
“Culturally and internally, this is just another day for us. We go back to work tomorrow and continue what we’re doing.”