Qualtrics, which sells software that helps companies understand how to keep customers satisfied, is going public.
The company, which has co-headquarters in Provo, Utah and Seattle, plans to raise $200 million through an initial public offering, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The move had been foreshadowed in recent weeks, as reports trickled out that the company was talking to bankers in anticipation of an IPO.
Qualtrics brought in net profits of $2.5 million on just under $290 million in revenue in 2017, according to the filing. For the first half of 2018, Qualtrics brought in more than $184 million in revenue, $53 million more than it reported a year prior.
Originally founded in Utah, the company has dramatically expanded its presence in Seattle, with over 300 employees near CenturyLink Field. Earlier this year, the company also opened a European engineering center in Krakow, Poland.
The Seattle co-HQ is led by John Thimsen, head of engineering, and Webb Stevens, head of product, and Chief Experience Officer Julie Larson-Green. Thimsen established the Seattle office back in 2015, coming from Amazon.com where he was a founding member of the team that developed the Echo. Stevens joined the Qualtrics team in 2016 after past roles at Avalara, Summit Partners and Deloitte Consulting. Larson-Green came from Microsoft last year, and she helps Qualtrics customers develop corporate cultures designed to retain good employees and oversees design across all of its products.
Qualtrics is in the customer-experience management business, helping companies measure and improve the ways in which their customers and employees interact with the business. It competes against players such as Medallia; SurveyMonkey and marketing research firms such as Aon Hewitt and Towers Watson.
“With the introduction of new technologies, the evolution of our solutions, and new market entrants, we expect competition to intensify in the future,” the company wrote in its IPO filing. “We also anticipate that potential competition may come in the future from incumbent software providers.”
Qualtrics was founded in 2002 to “make sophisticated research simple for the academic market,” according to the filing. The company later expanded beyond the academic world, to serve corporations with core products focused on improving experience in four areas: customers, products, brands and employees.
Qualtrics is led by CEO Ryan Smith, and the other co-founders are BYU professor Scott M. Smith, former Google employee Jared Smith and Stuart Orgill. The company has raised $400 million over its lifetime, including a $180 million round in 2017, and its backers include Accel, Insight Venture Partners and Sequoia Capital.