Survey company Qualtrics was acquired by SAP for $8B, days before hitting NASDAQ

SAP agrees to acquire research and survey software company, Qualtrics, for $8B mere days before the firm was set to hit NASDAQ.


November 13, 2018

One day you’re gearing up to hit Wall Street, the next you’re selling for $8B in tickle cash — classic.

TechCrunch reports Enterprise software giant SAP has agreed to acquire Qualtrics for $8B in cash — mere days before Qualtrics was set to go public. That makes it the 2nd largest SaaS company acquisition ever after Oracle’s purchase of Netsuite for $9.3B in 2016.

Name a more iconic father-sons trio… 

We’ll wait… Qualtrics was created by father Scott Smith and sons Ryan and Jared in 2002 out of Provo, Utah. Today, the company has nearly 2k employees and is still run by Ryan and Jared, with Ryan serving as the CEO and the face of the software firm.

Ryan’s claim to fame? Being a stickler for company culture and living on a steady stream of Mountain Dew.

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Oh, and optimizing every facet of his life

Though seemingly every picture of Smith features a skateboard or designer sneakers, underneath his chill exterior is an insatiable need for data-driven improvement.

His executive assistant is a former statistician who tracks everything down to the number of nights he spends away from home every year to the time he spends with each of his 5 children (reviewed quarterly). He also has weekly 1-on-1s with his wife (and no, that’s not an innuendo).

The Smiths are taking home a hefty piece of the pie

After going 10 years completely bootstrapped, they’ve since raised a total of $400m in VC funding, and were expecting around a $5B valuation in their IPO.

But, SAP CEO Bill McDermott threw the all-cash offer at the Smith family (more than 75% higher than its projected valuation), and they accepted — probably because, as Bloomberg notes, Ryan and his family still hold 87.6% of Qualtrics shares.

That’s worth about $7B based on SAP’s purchase price.

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