SurveyMonkey.com LLC, an online questionnaire service, raised almost $800 million in a round led by Chief Executive Officer Dave Goldberg and Tiger Global Management LLC, valuing the company at about $1.35 billion.
Google Inc. (GOOG:US) also invested, and David Lawee, an executive from the Web-search company, will join SurveyMonkey’s board as an observer. Lee Fixel, a partner at Tiger Global, will become a director, the Palo Alto, California-based company said today in a statement.
In the two-stage recapitalization, early investors sold about $444 million in equity to a group of new and existing shareholders in December. SurveyMonkey said it expects to raise an additional $350 million in debt financing. The proceeds will be used to buy shares from employees and shareholders and to retire existing debt.
“This transaction affords us all of the capital benefits of a public offering without the costs and distractions of an IPO and the demands of operating as a public company,” Goldberg said in the statement. Goldberg is the husband of Facebook Inc. Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg.
Founded in 1999, SurveyMonkey helps clients, including many Fortune 500 companies, gauge customer satisfaction, schedule events and conduct employee performance reviews. SurveyMonkey has a free product for asking as many as 10 questions, and it also has three tiers of paid subscriptions ranging from $204 to $780 a year.
An investor group led by Spectrum Equity Investors acquired SurveyMonkey in 2009 and appointed Goldberg CEO. At the time, the company had about 20 million unique visitors to its website each month. It now has 65 million.
In late 2010, SurveyMonkey raised $100 million in debt financing from institutions including Bank of America Corp’s Merrill Lynch to help it retire existing debt and make acquisitions.
Then, in early 2011 SurveyMonkey purchased a 49.9 percent stake in Clicktools, a provider of survey forms for companies. Later that year, the company acquired software maker Infinity Box Inc. for $35 million.
Niki Fenwick, a spokeswoman for Google, declined to comment on the size of its investment in SurveyMonkey.
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