SurveyMonkey, Not Planning IPO, Raises $800M From Google, Others

SurveyMonkey, Run By Sandberg's Spouse, Raises $800M

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SurveyMonkey, the online consumer experience company run by David Goldberg, spouse of Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) COO Sheryl Sandberg, has raised $800 million in debt and equity financing, reports said, because it doesn’t plan an initial public offering soon.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based website hired JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) to manage the current round, which values the company around $1.3 billion. Among new investors is Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), the No. 1 search engine, which might have its eye on the company.

Two large private equity companies, Bain Capital, the company founded by last year’s Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, and Spectrum Equity Investors had long backed SurveyMonkey, founded in 1999 by Ryan Finley, until Spectrum Equity acquired a majority stake in 2009.

Goldberg, who was brought in by Spectrum, had previously been an executive with Yahoo Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), the No. 3 search engine, where he ran Yahoo Music, as well as other Silicon Valley companies. He’s making a new personal investment in the company, along with Tiger Global Management.

Goldberg and the other investors are putting in about $450 million, with the remainder coming in debt financing arranged by JPMorgan Chase. Tapping the new capital can allow for early investors and Finley to cash out or take some proceeds, rather than conduct a cumbersome IPO.

The SurveyMonkey CEO married Sandberg, a former senior executive with Google, in 2004. After Facebook’s May 2012 IPO, she was elected Facebook’s first female director. The value of her 20 million shares now exceeds $900 million, based on Thursday’s price of $30.21.

SurveyMonkey, which polls customers about their reactions to products and experiences, also has links to CBS Corp. (NASDAQ:CBS). Senior VP Zander Lurie serves as a company director, along with founder Finley and his brother Chris.

 

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