Spectrum & Bain Buying SurveyMonkey

Spectrum Equity Investors and Bain Capital Ventures have agreed to acquire a majority interest in SurveyMonkey, a Portland, Ore.-based provider of of online survey solutions. No pricing terms were disclosed for the deal, which included leveraged financing from Bank of America, CIT and NewStar Financial. Dave Goldberg will take over as CEO, after having spent the past two years as an entrepreneur-in-residence with Benchmark Capital.


SurveyMonkey, the leading provider of online survey solutions, announced today that an investor group led by Spectrum Equity Investors and including Bain Capital Ventures has entered into an agreement to acquire a majority interest in the company.  Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 1999, SurveyMonkey provides online subscription-based survey solutions that enable people to quickly and easily create surveys, collect responses and analyze survey results.  SurveyMonkey provides the highest level of service to its customers with 24-hour support on weekdays and a one-hour customer response policy.  Since inception, over two million users have registered with SurveyMonkey, creating over six million surveys and generating over 200 million completed surveys.  According to Compete, Inc., www.surveymonkey.com attracts nearly eight million unique visitors per month, more than any other survey company online. SurveyMonkey users include over 80% of Fortune 100 companies, as well as educational institutions, non-profit organizations and individuals.

As part of the transaction, Dave Goldberg will become Chief Executive Officer of SurveyMonkey and a minority investor in the company.  Mr. Goldberg has been an Entrepreneur in Residence with Benchmark Capital since May 2007 and previously led Yahoo’s music business.  He will be based in Menlo Park, where SurveyMonkey plans to open an office in the next month.  Founders Ryan Finley and Chris Finley will remain with the company based in Portland and will retain a minority ownership interest.

Victor Parker, a Managing Director of Spectrum Equity Investors, said, “Over the past nine years, Ryan and his team have pioneered the online survey market and established SurveyMonkey as the leading provider of this increasingly in-demand service.  We believe SurveyMonkey is poised for significant growth and are pleased that Dave, who brings 15 years of experience in consumer content and subscription businesses and a successful leadership track record, will assist us and the company’s existing team as we scale the business and continue to provide a great experience for users.”  

Ryan Finley, co-founder and current CEO, said, “We are thrilled to partner with Spectrum and Bain and welcome Dave to the SurveyMonkey team.  Our new partners truly understand the key elements behind our continued growth in an increasingly competitive environment.  We look forward to working together to build upon our strengths as we continue to provide a user-friendly survey tool that meets the needs of our rapidly expanding user base.”

Mr. Goldberg said, “Ryan, Chris and their team have developed a remarkable service and a market-leading brand that appeals to everyone from large corporations to non-profit organizations to college students.  I am excited to join the company and look forward to growing the SurveyMonkey user base and community, providing enhanced services and products and adding to the already talented team of employees.”

Todd MacLean, a Director at Bain Capital Ventures said, “We are extremely excited to partner with Dave Goldberg, a dynamic entrepreneur who we believe is ideally suited to lead the next phase of the company’s growth .  We believe our experience with low-touch, viral software models will be an asset in supporting Dave and the team of talented professionals at SurveyMonkey as they grow the business.  In addition, we have great affinity and respect for Spectrum, having co-invested with them in the past, and look forward to a great partnership on the Board of SurveyMonkey.” 

As an Entrepreneur in Residence at Benchmark Capital since 2007, Mr. Goldberg evaluated investment opportunities for the firm and advised their portfolio companies.  Prior to Benchmark Capital, Mr. Goldberg had served as Vice President and General Manager of Yahoo! Music, where starting in 2001 he led the company’s global music operations.   Mr. Goldberg founded LAUNCH Media Inc. in 1994, which was dedicated to delivering music and music-related content online, and he led the company through its acquisition by Yahoo! in 2001. Prior to co-founding LAUNCH, Mr. Goldberg was director of marketing strategy and new business development at Capitol Records in Los Angeles.  Mr. Goldberg began his career at Bain & Company, a leading business consulting firm.

Mr. Goldberg graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and government.

Debt financing to support the transaction is being provided by Bank of America, CIT and NewStar Financial.

About SurveyMonkey
Founded in 1999, SurveyMonkey is a leading provider of online survey solutions.  Every day, SurveyMonkey helps thousands of people gather the feedback they need to make more informed decisions. SurveyMonkey’s offices are located in Portland, Oregon. For more information, please visit www.surveymonkey.com.

About Spectrum Equity Investors
Spectrum Equity Investors is a private equity firm focused on investing in profitable, growing services businesses. Founded in 1994 with offices in Menlo Park and Boston, Spectrum manages over $4 billion in capital across five funds. Spectrum has been an active investor in Internet and information services businesses including The Generations Network, Demand Media, NetQuote, iPay Technologies, Mortgagebot, ITA Software, RiskMetrics Group (NYSE: RMG), World-Check and Seisint (acquired by Reed Elsevier).

About Bain Capital Ventures
Bain Capital Ventures is the growth capital arm of Bain Capital, the global private equity firm whose affiliates manage over $80 billion of assets.  Founded in 1984, Bain Capital aims to partner with superior entrepreneurs to support building market-leading companies.  Since its founding, Bain Capital has invested in over 300 companies with such notable technology successes as Doubleclick, Gartner Group, Taleo (Nasdaq: TLEO), Profitic Logic (acquired by Oracle), m-Qube (acquired by Verisign), LinkedIn, and SolarWinds.net.