32. SurveyMonkey

The survey says ...

Founder: Ryan Finley
Launched: 1999
Funding: N/A
Valuation: $2 billion
Disrupting: Surveys, software
Rival: Pencil and Paper

Ryan Finley started this online survey platform company out of his apartment in 1999 after graduating with a degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.


Today, SurveyMonkey serves more than 25 million businesses, organizations and individuals who want to gather quick feedback via an online survey in order to make better decisions. The company, valued at around $2 billion, has received venture funding from investors such as T. Rowe Price, Spectrum and Tiger Global Management.

In August, SurveyMonkey acquired start-up TechValidate and can now leverage its survey data to create content ready for companies to use in marketing campaigns.

Yet this has not been an easy year for the company. Last May its longtime CEO, David Goldberg (husband of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg), suddenly passed away. And in March, CEO Zander Lurie announced the company was laying off 100 employees — about 13 percent of its workforce — to refocus its services aimed at businesses.

Survey Monkey CEO Zander Lurie.
Source: Survey Monkey
Survey Monkey CEO Zander Lurie.

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