Aug 2014

SurveyMonkey Acquires Fluidware

Online questionnaire company SurveyMonkey has acquired smaller Canadian rival Fluidware to help persuade more corporate customers to pay up, said CEO Dave Goldberg in an interview.

The exact financial terms weren't disclosed but Goldberg said SurveyMonkey paid more than $20 million.

The acquisition is SurveyMonkey's first in more than two years and part of its push to offer more specialized tools for businesses who use the company's online software to design surveys and analyze the results.

More than half of the company's customers still create surveys for free, and the startup aims to develop and acquire a suite of tools corporations are eager to pay for, Goldberg said.

"We haven't had all the bells-and-whistles functionality that people at enterprises have needed," Goldberg said. "We're starting to add more complex use cases."

Fluidware has developed features that SurveyMonkey wants to add to its products, such as offline survey taking. That means a customer can fill out a survey on their device without an Internet connection after first downloading it. SurveyMonkey planned to offer that feature in more than six months, but will now have it much sooner.

The deal also extends SurveyMonkey's international reach. After acquiring Fluidware, close to half of SurveyMonkey's revenue is generated outside the U.S., Goldberg said. That's up from about 20% of international sales when the CEO joined the company in 2009, he said.

Fluidware, based in Ottawa, Canada, will become a new Canadian office for SurveyMonkey, with all 70 employees staying on board at the acquiring company.

SurveyMonkey acquired another competitor, MarketTools, in 2011. In that deal, private equity firm TPG bought MarketTools and transferred most of its assets to SurveyMonkey in exchange for a minority stake.

The company has held off the need for an initial public offering by raising more than $1 billion in debt and equity from TPG and a range of other private investors, including Spectrum Equity, Google Inc. and Tiger Global Management.