Qualtrics, a cloud-based user experience software vendor which has been a part of “unicorn” club, was all set to debut its IPO this week. But ahead of its planned IPO, SAP has announced that it will acquire the Utah-based company for $8 billion.
The tech giant announced on Sunday night that it is acquiring Qualtrics for $8 billion in an all-cash deal. To cover the deal, SAP has already secured €7 billion in financing and the deal is expected to close in the first half of 2019. This also marks SAP second biggest acquisition, after the $8.3 Billion it paid for Concur in 2014.
Qualtrics CEO Ryan Smith and the management team are expected to stay on. However, the company’s current crop of investors which includes Accel, Insight Venture Partners and Sequoia Capital will get significant exit with some firms stakes valued at more than $1 billion.
Post acquisition, Qualtrics will continue to maintain its dual headquarters in Seattle and Provo, Utah. The company offers software-as-a-service that other companies use to measure and manage their reputations with current and prospective customers as well as a similar service for internal use of managing employees. It collects feedback and data on customers, employees, products, and brands for 9,000 businesses worldwide, providing real-time insights.
Commenting on this, Qualtrics CEO Ryan Smith said:
I feel more at peace about this than going public. We didn’t need to go public. We had no investor pressure, no financial pressure, and we had no employee pressure. We were going public for the sole reason of creating the category. And nothing is bigger for that than this combination. It would take ten years to do what we are going to do tomorrow.
The deal is SAP’s biggest since it bought travel and expense management firm Concur in 2014 for $8.3 billion. It is also a step forward in the company’s Chief Executive Bill McDermott’s vision of expanding into Customer Relationship Management (CRM) from its core of helping firms run their finance, logistics and human resources.
A combined Qualtrics and SAP could look to expand into customer relationship management (CRM) software, which has been dominated by Salesforce.
Qualtrics had reported revenues of $289.9 million in 2017, up 52 percent from the year before. In its statement on the acquisition, SAP said Qualtrics would expect to exceed $400 million for 2018, with its growth remaining more than 40 percent.