Project management is among the least lovable of software categories, but Trello has spent the past five years making it simpler, more approachable, and…well, actually pretty pleasant. Its user base has nearly doubled in the past year to 19 million. Now it will be continuing its mission as part of Atlassian, the Sydney-based collaborative-software giant that's buying Trello for $425 million in cash and stock. It's Atlassian's 18th acquisition and the largest to date.
"Coincidentally, both companies shared the same big, audacious goal: 100 million daily active users," says Atlassian president Jay Simons. "We felt like we could achieve that faster together." Trello will join other such Atlassian collaboration products as Slack archrival HipChat (acquired in 2012), knowledge-management tool Confluence, and Jira, a more heavy-duty project-management system widely used for tasks such as tracking bugs. Michael Pryor, Trello's CEO, will continue to lead the New York-headquartered Trello team.
As an independent company, Trello built a number of pieces of technology to meld its service with Slack. Atlassian, as you'd expect, plans to ramp up efforts to integrate Trello with its own offerings. Given the competitive situation, do people that use Trello and Slack—such as me and my Fast Company cohorts—have anything to worry about? Simons told me not to worry: "We're interested in all users using Trello."