How Qualtrics Turned Online Surveys Into another $1 Billion Survey Business
J Thoendell stashed this in Tech
The business of making software for online surveys is pretty easy to understand: You find people who want to conduct surveys and sell them access to software that creates forms they can circulate. “That’s all a survey is—it’s a form with an analytics component,” says Ryan Smith, the co-founder and chief executive of Qualtrics, one of the bigger names in the online survey industry. “We have the best form.”
A good form turns out to be surprisingly valuable to have: Qualtrics just closed a $150 million fundraising round led by Insight Venture Partners, Accel Partners, and Sequoia Capital, valuing the company at more than $1 billion. The funding round makes Qualtrics at least the second online survey company to join the billion-dollar club; SurveyMonkey raised an investment round last year with a reported valuation of $1.3 billion.
These valuations are based on the desire of businesses to know what their customers are thinking. The market research industry brings in $21 billion in annual revenue, according to IBISWorld. In general, selling software subscriptions to corporate clients can be good business because it creates a recurring revenue stream. And no one really wants to switch vendors once they’ve trained employees to use a certain system.