Will Scully-Power

Qualtrics Raises $70M From Accel And Sequoia: “The Biggest Software Company You Haven’t Heard Of”?
May 18, 2012, 8:23 am
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Two of the top venture capital firms have written a big check for Qualtrics, a 10-year-old company offering online data collection and analysis.

The $70 million round is Qualtrics’ first institutional investment — the company says it has been profitable since it was founded in 2002. The money comes from Accel Partners and Sequoia Capital, which both have growth funds targeting investments like Qualtrics — mature companies that have already achieved some success but have bootstrapped thus far. Apparently it’s the largest investment the two firms have ever made together. (Past joint investments include AdMob, the mobile ad network acquired by Google for $750 million.)

Co-founder and CEO Ryan Smith says Qualtrics is offering a new approach to market research. In the past, companies that wanted to conduct this research had to hire outside firms, which is a pricey proposition. There are a few startups are offering cheaper alternatives, but they’re usually simple tools like surveys, which aren’t going to replace serious research. Qualtrics, on the other hand, has developed technology that allows companies to conduct sophisticated research on their own, without hiring an outside firm or even asking their IT team to handle a complicated installation.

“Our mantra is: ‘Sophisticated enough for a PhD, easy enough for an intern,’” Smith says.

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