The much-anticipated SurveyMonkey ($SVMK) IPO is scheduled for tonight. The proposed price range remains $9-11. For a relatively small deal (13.5M shares) there are a lot of banks on the cover - 11 in all with JPM, Allen, and BofA leading the charge.
Online surveys are a niche market but SurveyMonkey has emerged as a clear category leader in the space. The product has a number of significant advantages which we will outline below.
There are a lot of small competitors in the online survey space including a pretty large "free" offering from Google. By using Google Forms and Google Sheets a simple survey can be conducted with the results accessed and analyzed in a no-nonsense fashion. This solution has been around for a long time is a favorite for small efforts with quasi-technical types of users.
In terms of survey-focused competition, we see a few that are being extra competitive - Forsee has more of an enterprise focus, as does SurveyGizmo and Qualtrics. However, all these companies rely on the old demo/salesperson model of sales. There are no free versions and no visible online pricing. With few exceptions, the self-service model will be a better to-g0-market.
It's been a while since we've used a survey tool so we decided to survey our own clients here at IPO Candy with a short Survey Monkey survey. A few things stood out relative to "basic" solutions like Google Sheets/Forms:
- It's a very smooth sign up process and you are instantly creating a survey from scratch or a template. The built-in design of the UI is strikingly better than what you would get with Google Forms.
- When you type a question the monkey does a great job of reading into it to gauge your intent and suggest the right type of response format - multiple choice, sliding scale, comment box, dropdown? This makes it much easier to design your survey. Our 10 question survey took only minutes to complete.
- Besides the smart question types, the system also performs some level of review of your survey before you send it out. Ours didn't have any issues but it provides some piece of mind before you blast something out to your clients and prospects.
- Once results come in the monkey has a bunch of built-in graphics for analyzing the results and even more importantly a slick presentation of the results can be created with a few clicks. For many corporate users, it would mean they wouldn't even need to use a presentation tool like PowerPoint.
One thing you notice right away is it's easy to use "premium features" without really knowing it. That puts you into a not-too-cheap paid level. We'll get to that below. This is also part of the reason that you get so many damn surveys!
Strategy and Growth
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