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The debt financing comes from BoA Merrill Lynch and SunTrust Robinson Humphrey
(Correction: To reflect past funding history and company location)
Ever wonder who writes those surveys that you always get when you make an online purchase or try out a new product? SurveyMonkey does (not all of them, but quite a bit). And for such a quirky name, their website is surprisingly sober. No zany cartoon monkeys anywhere (although it does have a cute little tagline: "the best thing since the opposable thumb!"). The Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup isn’t taking the online survey sector lightly. The company announced Wednesday the completion of a whopping $100 million senior debt financing led by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and SunTrust Robinson Humphrey. Other banks who participated in the syndicate include JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., Royal Bank of Canada, Webster Bank, N.A., and Zions First National Bank.
The proceeds from the financing will be used to retire the company’s existing debt and will lower the overall cost of capital.
"We are pleased with this demonstration of confidence by our banking partners in our rapidly growing business," said Dave Goldberg, CEO of SurveyMonkey, in a prepared statement. "This new capital structure will help us achieve our expansion plans." Goldberg has shied away from telling reporters how much money SurveyMonkey is making, explaining that “We don’t want people dumping a lot of money into the space.” Which means SurveyMonkey is making a lot.
SurveyMonkey offers a wide range of different surveys for different business types, including academic course evaluations, general business surveys (customer service, online product feedback, business to business), marketing (new product announcement and software evaluation), non-profit (fundraising, volunteer recruitment), satisfaction (customer/client satisfaction), services (dental care, medical patient, travel), and social/political surveys (event feedback, high school clubs).
Founded in 1999, SurveyMonkey currently surveys over 25 million people each month and has some big clients on its roster, serving all of the Fortune 100 companies. In June of this year, the company acquired Precision Polling to expand its service to phone surveys. Revenues are rumored to be above the $50 million yearly mark, which is impressive considering the company offers a free basic service that includes 10-question surveys, 100 responses per survey, an intuitive Web-based survey tool, real-time results, and 24-hour customer support. Or, for $200 a year, clients can get surveys with unlimited questions and unlimited responses.
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