SurveyMonkey climbs in debut after upsized $180 million IPO

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By Bloomberg

ONLINE-polling company SurveyMonkey surged as much as 67 percent in its trading debut after raising $180 million in its bigger-than-targeted U.S. initial public offering.

Shares of SurveyMonkey, the operating name of Svmk Inc., closed up 44 percent at $17.24 Wednesday in New York. That price lifted the company’s market value to about $2.1 billion, topping its $2 billion valuation in a 2014 private funding round.

The company sold 15 million shares for $12 apiece Tuesday after earlier offering 13.5 million of them for $9 to $11. Concurrent with the offering, the company also sold $40 million in stock to Salesforce Ventures, the venture capital arm of Inc.

SurveyMonkey is older than many of its newly public peers, having been founded almost two decades ago. While the company had more than 16 million active users in the past year, according to its IPO filing, only 3.8 percent of those were paying users.

SurveyMonkey has relied on paying users finding the tools through the company’s website or online searches, it said in its filing. It said it expects growth to continue through word-of-mouth from existing customers, and by up-selling existing users.

In the past three years, the San Mateo, California-based company has begun partnering with companies such as Salesforce, Microsoft Corp. and Google, according to the filing.

For the first six months of 2018, SurveyMonkey’s net loss increased to $27.2 million from $19.1 million for the same period last year. In 2017 it had a net loss of $24 million on revenue of $218.8 million. That compared with a net loss of $76.4 million on $207.3 million in revenue in 2016.

SurveyMonkey plans on using the proceeds to pay down debt and meet income tax obligations related to a restricted stock unit settlement, as well as for working capital and general purposes including acquisitions and investing in technology.

Tiger Global Management LLC holds the largest stake in the company with 25 percent of the stock. The Sheryl K. Sandberg Revocable Trust holds an 8.4 percent stake and Facebook Inc. Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg is on the board. Her late husband, David Goldberg, was chief executive officer of the company.

JPMorgan Chase & Co., Allen & Co. and Bank of America Corp. led the offering. The company is trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol SVMK.