Silicon Valley-based SurveyMonkey, a firm that lets users create online surveys, has raised $800 million in debt and additional equity funding, which it will distribute in a tender offer, according to AllThingsD.
Around $450 million of the total amount will come from new investments by a number of investors including Google (through its recently created late-stage investment fund), Dave Goldberg (CEO of SurveyMonkey) and Tiger Global Management. The remaining amount ($350 million) in debt will come from a syndicate led by JPMorgan Chase.
The report also added that private equity firm Spectrum Equity Investors (which had previously acquired a majority stake in the company along with Bain Capital Ventures) and Goldberg will continue to hold a large stake post the new round of funding.
It further said that the funding would be used to allow employees and early investors to cash out of the company. The funding round values the firm at $1.3 billion and it will be one of the largest rounds for an internet company.
SurveyMonkey was set up in 1999 by the Finley brothers, Ryan and Chris, and it has been profitable since its start. The company never required investor capital to grow its business but in 2009, the founders sold the company to Spectrum Equity and Bain Capital. Since then, it has used debt financing to pay for some acquisitions it has made. These included acquiring three survey tools – Zoomerang (since it was a direct competitor), Precision Polling (for adding talent) and Wufoo (for adding customer base and product offerings), and also picking up stake in the UK-based company Clicktools.
(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)