One of the stock market's highest flyers is aiming to make more money from its priciest acquisition

Key Points
  • Teams of users will have to start paying a monthly subscription after they reach 10 boards.
  • Free Trello users will still be able to maintain an unlimited number of boards.
  • Atlassian acquired Trello in 2017 for $425 million.
Mike Cannon-Brookes, left, and Scott Farquhar, co-founders and co-CEOs of Atlassian and 2016 honorees on Fortune's 40 Under 40 list, pose for a photo in San Francisco on Oct. 13, 2016.
Kelly Sullivan | Fortune | Getty Images

Atlassian, the maker of collaboration software for developers, is aiming to ramp up revenue from its Trello service, more than two years after buying the tool-tracking company for $425 million.

In a blog post on Tuesday, Trello said that it's limiting free use of the software for groups. Once a team of users exceeds 10 open boards, which are used to organize projects, it will have to start paying.

 "Existing free Teams with more than 10 open boards will continue to have access to those boards, but will need to upgrade to Business Class to add more boards to their Team," the post said. The business tier costs $9.99 per user, per month when paid annually.

Atlassian has been a stock market darling since going public in 2015. The stock debuted at $21 and has multiplied more than fivefold, closing on Tuesday at $112.42, giving the company a market value of over $26 billion.

Source: CNBC

Users know Atlassian mostly for its Jira and Confluence products, which are almost ubiquitous in the software development community. But the company is increasingly looking for growth elsewhere, whether it's from Trello or AgileCraft, which Atlassian just acquired for $166 million, according to a statement on Monday. 

"We view Trello as an intriguing longer-term monetization play," Mizuho analysts led by Gregg Moskowitz wrote in a note to clients on March 13.

Atlassian's competitors include Microsoft, Salesforce, ServiceNow and Zendesk as well as numerous start-ups. So raising prices is always a sensitive matter. 

Trello has 35 million registered users, up from 19 million about two years ago, and some are already contributing revenue to Atlassian. Trello has offered premium tiers for years, and Atlassian has said that it gained almost 13,000 paying customers as part of the acquisition in 2017.

Trello said that current users of the free Teams product can add up to 10 additional boards without upgrading until May 1. The change doesn't affect how many boards, lists and cards each individual free user can create.

The Mizuho analysts have been anticipating these sorts of moves with Trello, telling clients "it's conceivable that we could see more monetization occur sooner than investors expect."

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