SurveyMonkey - Powering The Curious

Sarika Anand Sarika Anand
Jan 4, 2021 10 min read
SurveyMonkey - Powering The Curious

Company Profile is an initiative by StartupTalky to publish verified information on different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by the organization it is based on.

Online survey tools are software solutions that provide the ability to create, run and interpret various types of surveys either on the users own websites, on emails or on hosted web pages. SVMK Inc., doing business as SurveyMonkey, is an online survey development cloud-based software as a service company.

It was founded in 1999 by Ryan Finley and Chris Finley. The company provides surveys and a suite of paid back-end programs.

This article will give you a gist of SurveyMonkey's journey so far in the market. Know more about the company profile of SurveyMonkey, growth, challenges faced by the company and many other interesting things about SurveyMonkey's journey by reading this article.

SurveyMonkey - Company Highlights

Startup Name SVMK Inc.
Headquarters One Curiosity Way, San Mateo, CA, United States
Industry SAAS, Online survey services
Founded 1999
Founders Ryan Finley, Chris Finley
Total Funding $1.1B (As of 2019)
Area Served Worldwide
Website www.surveymonkey.com

SurveyMonkey - About and How it Works?
SurveyMonkey - Recent News
SurveyMonkey - Logo and its Meaning
SurveyMonkey - Founder, History and Team
SurveyMonkey - Mission
SurveyMonkey - Business Model
SurveyMonkey - Revenue and Growth
SurveyMonkey - Funding And Investors
SurveyMonkey - Investments
SurveyMonkey - Acquisitions
SurveyMonkey - Competitors
SurveyMonkey - Drawbacks
SurveyMonkey - Future Plans
SurveyMonkey - FAQs

SurveyMonkey - About and How it Works?

SurveyMonkey (also known as SVMK) is a United States based company that provides survey software products and purpose-built solutions that help organizations engage with their customers, employees, and the markets they serve. Its data platform enables individuals and organizations to collect and analyze feedback, as well as create their own online surveys.

The company serves a range of industries, including financial services, internet, technology, healthcare, media and entertainment, consumer goods and retail, transportation and logistics, government agencies, manufacturing, energy, education, professional services, and non-profit organizations.

It is engaged in providing survey software products and purpose-built solutions that enable organizations to engage with their key constituents, including their customers, employees and the markets they serve. It offers a cloud-based SaaS platform that helps individuals and organizations design and distribute surveys. Products offered by the company enable individuals and organizations of all sizes to collect and analyze People Powered Data.

SurveyMonkey - Recent News

As of December 2020, SurveyMonkey, a leader in agile software solutions for customer experience, market research, and survey feedback, released its inaugural Social Impact Report outlining the company’s commitment and areas for improvement as it aims to be transparent about creating a more sustainable, fair, and society.

“I am confident that as a company and community, we can change what’s possible—and transform our teams, organizations, and the world for the better,” said Zander Lurie, chief executive officer of SurveyMonkey. “This report reflects the values and goals of the SurveyMonkey team: To raise the bar for human experiences by amplifying individual voices. There has never been a better time for all us to imagine the future we want to create and start building it together.”

As SurveyMonkey continues efforts to improve its positive social impact, examples from the report of the company’s actions include:

  • Created a more fair workplace by adding new benefits to better address all our workers needs.
  • Launched the GIGs (growth, impact, and goals) performance review program, reimagining the way employee performance reviews are conducted to create a culture that embraces the growth mindset and delivers on its employee value proposition.
  • Set public diversity goals at the end of 2019 and conducted a biennial gender and ethnicity pay equity study.
  • Partnered with The Justice Collective to analyze SurveyMonkey’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) practices, provided antiracist training to all employees, and continued to build a strategic approach to DE&I.
  • Launched its vendor diversity program, requiring diversity, equity and inclusion from its vendors and partners.
  • Partnered with nonprofit organization LeanIn.org to highlight barriers for women’s achievement in the workplace and beyond.
  • Donated more than $15 million in nonprofit donations through SurveyMonkey Contribute as an ongoing effort since its start in 2011. In 2020, SurveyMonkey launched Team Gives Back, a matching program that has generated $450,000 in donations by employees and the company through a double-matching initiative.
  • Made efforts to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions through installing energy-efficient fixtures in its spaces throughout the world.
  • Continued to invest in data privacy and security, implementing a comprehensive security framework that prioritizes the needs of its customers.

SurveyMonkey - Logo and its Meaning

"Our logomark, Goldie, is affectionately named after our beloved, late CEO, Dave Goldberg."
Company Logo of SurveyMonkey
Company Logo of SurveyMonkey

As a heartfelt tribute to Goldberg, the company retroactively named its simian logo/mascot “Goldie” after his nickname. SurveyMonkey is ONE word, always spelled with a capital “S” and “M”.

SurveyMonkey - Founder, History and Team

The company was owned by Ryan and Chris Finley until Spectrum Equity and Bain Capital acquired a majority interest in the company in 2009. Dave Goldberg joined SurveyMonkey in 2009.

Ryan launched the company in 1999 as a part-time project out of his apartment and established SurveyMonkey as the Internet’s most popular survey tool, used by individuals and organizations throughout the world.

In his current role, Ryan serves as a member of our board of directors. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Portland Art Museum. He studied Computer Science at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and his interests include architecture and design, eating good food, and searching for the perfect cup of espresso.

Zander Lurie was named CEO at SurveyMonkey in January 2016. He has served on SurveyMonkey’s board of directors since 2009, most recently as Chair. Zander began his career in the technology investment banking group at JPMorgan where he led equity transactions and mergers and acquisitions in the Internet sector.  Zander co-founded a nonprofit organization called CoachArt which benefits ill children and their siblings in Northern and Southern California.

SurveyMonkey - Mission

SurveyMonkey's mission statement says, "Our mission is to power the curious. We help organizations around the world turn feedback into action, fueling their ability to grow and innovate. We know that asking the right questions is the first step toward building a better world, and we believe in equality and in elevating all voices—especially the ones that might not otherwise be heard."

The company believes that by harnessing the power of feedback they can change what’s possible—and transform their teams, organizations, communities, and the world into better, brighter futures.


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SurveyMonkey - Business Model

SurveyMonkey operates on a freemium business model, according to the company's website. This means that users can choose to opt for a free set of survey services or for a more powerful platform that requires a paid membership. As the company suggests, "we allow users to use our most basic tools for free, while designating our more advanced features and resources to our paid plans."

SurveyMonkey also offers a suite of solutions to help customers do everything from customer satisfaction to manage grant applications. Users opting for the free SurveyMonkey services are able to generate surveys of up to 10 questions and 100 responses, and they are able to use some of the basic data processing tools. SurveyMonkey sees the free service as a way for customers to sample their products and to become acquainted with the feedback collection process in general.

The paid side of the freemium model offers users with many more options, including various types of survey logic, unlimited access to filters and crosstabs and more.

SurveyMonkey - Revenue and Growth

As of Q3 2020 key results : -

  • Total revenue was $95.4 million, an increase of 20% year-over-year.
  • GAAP operating margin was negative 23.7% and non-GAAP operating margin was 2.2%.
  • GAAP net loss was $26.1 million and GAAP basic and diluted net loss per share was $0.19. Non-GAAP net loss was $1.3 million and non-GAAP basic and diluted net loss per share was approximately $0.01.
  • Net cash provided by operating activities was $17.9 million and free cash flow was $16.2 million for 18.7% and 17.0% margin, respectively.
  • Cash and cash equivalents totaled $206.3 million and total debt was $214.1 million for net debt of $7.8 million as of September 30, 2020.

SurveyMonkey - Funding And Investors

SurveyMonkey has raised a total of $1.1B in funding over 5 rounds. Their latest funding was raised on Dec 15, 2014 from a Private Equity round. SurveyMonkey is funded by 22 investors. Morgan Stanley and Chris Finley are the most recent investors.

Amount Round Amount Lead Investors
Dec 15, 2014 Private Equity Round $250M -
Jan 16, 2013 Debt Financing $350M JP Morgan Chase
Jan 16, 2013 Private Equity Round $444M Tiger Global Management
Nov 3, 2010 Debt Financing $100M Bank of America Merrill Lynch, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey
Apr 20, 2009 Venture Round - -

SurveyMonkey - Investments

SurveyMonkey has made 2 investments. Their most recent investment was on Nov 16, 2016, when Apptentive raised $3.6M.

Date Organization Name Round Amount
Nov 16, 2016 Apptentive Series A $3.6M
Sep 24, 2014 Apptentive Series A $5.3M

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SurveyMonkey - Acquisitions

SurveyMonkey has acquired 8 organizations. Their most recent acquisition was GetFeedback on Aug 5, 2019. They acquired GetFeedback for $68M.

Acquiree Name Date Amount About Acquiree
GetFeedback Aug 5, 2019 $68M GetFeedback helps companies understand and improve customer experience by making it easy to create beautiful, branded surveys
Usabilla Mar 5, 2019 $80M Enterprise SaaS helping clients capture visual feedback and deploy targeted surveys to increase conversion on the web, in apps and emails
TechValidate Software Jul 2015 - TechValidate is a web-based marketing content automation software platform enabling B2B organizations to auto-generate marketing content.
Renzu May 2015 - Renzu is a small startup created by Zynga alums.
Fluidware Aug 6, 2014 - Fluidware is a new age enterprise software company specializing in web-based applications
MarketTools Dec 14, 2011 - MetrixLab provides consumer insights that drive smarter business decisions.
Wufoo Apr 25, 2011 - Wufoo is an online form builder that helps users create and design online forms and process simple payments.
Precision Polling Jun 21, 2010 - Precision Polling offers automated phone surveys and polls to assist research on political campaigns, non-profits, and conferences.

SurveyMonkey - Competitors

Top competitors of SurveyMonkey are Google Forms, Qualtrics Core XM, Google Surveys, Doodle, Alchemer, Zoho Survey, Typeform, and SurveySparrow.

SurveyMonkey - Drawbacks

More than 25 million people use SurveyMonkey, and the company recently went public, further enhancing the stability and predictability of the tool—especially for users who use SurveyMonkey as an integrated part of a larger workflow.

SurveyMonkey has decent rates, but not if you’re launching just one, or two, or three survey projects. The fact is, their basic license won’t get be sufficient if your survey has any mildly-complex logic branching. You’ll need a higher license level.

That’s prohibitively expensive for a startup with plans to run only a handful of surveys. With some panel providers, it’s the cost of more than 200 consumer survey responses!


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SurveyMonkey - Future Plans

The new features that SurveyMonkey is introducing into its products are varied, but they’re all in sync with the curiosity theme in that they’re designed to remove the barriers that stand between a company and the relevant data it would like to collect.

For starters, SurveyMonkey is simplifying the process of creating surveys that people will actually be willing to complete. A new feature called SurveyMonkey Genius analyzes surveys and make recommendations that may increase response rate.

SurveyMonkey also reworked the interface that people see when they take a survey for maximum efficiency, reducing the chances that someone will bail before completing one, especially on a smartphone.

It’s been a while since Dave Goldberg’s death, and, as SurveyMonkey has continued to grow, not everyone currently on staff was part of his era. But in ways both obvious and subtle, his impact persists.

“He will always have an inspirational place, But there’s no moping. I think Dave wouldn’t stand for it.”

SurveyMonkey - FAQs

What does SurveyMonkey do?

SurveyMonkey is a United States-based company that provides survey software products and purpose-built solutions that help organizations engage with their customers, employees, and the markets they serve.

Who founded SurveyMonkey?

Ryan Finley and Chris Finley founded SurveyMonkey.

What companies SurveyMonkey competes with?

Top competitors of SurveyMonkey are Google Forms, Qualtrics Core XM, Google Surveys, Doodle, Alchemer, Zoho Survey, Typeform, and SurveySparrow.

How does SurveyMonkey make money?

SurveyMonkey operates on a freemium business model, according to the company's website. This means that users can choose to opt for a free set of survey services or for a more powerful platform that requires a paid membership.


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