14. SurveyMonkey

Questions unlimited

Survey Monkey: Building a disruptor
SurveyMonkey: Building a disruptor   

Founder: Ryan Finley
Date launched: 1999
Funding: $1.2 billion
Industry disrupted: Ratings services

SurveyMonkey, the amusingly named online survey company, has enabled everyone from Fortune 500 CEOs to neighborhood soccer coaches to know what's on their constituents' minds. The Palo Alto, California-based company was started in 1999, and its core survey business allows companies and organizations to quickly set up online surveys. Most of these are free. The company makes its money—estimated to be more than $100 million in annual revenue—by charging for the most advanced features, such as downloading the survey results.


In early April the company launched a new tool, called Benchmarks, which lets users compare metrics, such as website feedback or employee engagement, with their competitors. Again, some of the basic information from Benchmark will be free, but the company is hoping that most users will opt for the paid service, which starts at $799. In a recent Fortune interview, the late SurveyMonkey CEO Dave Goldberg said an IPO won't be happening anytime soon.

The company is certainly not hurting for money. It raised $250 million in a round of funding in December, bringing its total in venture capital to $1.2 billion from names such as Tiger Global Management and Bain Capital Ventures.

The employees of SurveyMonkey
Source: Survey Monkey
The employees of SurveyMonkey
"When I stepped into the role of CEO at SurveyMonkey in 2009, I saw an opportunity to transform the company. I believed SurveyMonkey could do more than ask questions. It also has a lot of answers. With a pipe of 3 million survey responses every day, I realized I could leverage this data to transform the company from a survey tool to a data platform." -Dave Goldberg, SurveyMonkey CEO

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