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After taking no funding for a decade, Qualtrics just raised a huge round and is worth $2.5 billion

Qualtrics CEO Ryan Smith
Qualtrics CEO Ryan Smith

Qualtrics is partying like it's 2015.

The software company, which is part of Salt Lake City's growing tech scene, said Wednesday that it raised $180 million at a valuation of $2.5 billion, in a financing round led by Insight Venture Partners and Accel.

It's the type of funding announcement that became commonplace in Silicon Valley between 2013 and 2015, when venture investing reached levels not seen since the dot-com bubble. The market took a big dip last year after it became clear that such private valuations wouldn't be supported by public investors.

Qualtrics used a different playbook and is reaping the rewards.

The company was founded in 2002 and bootstrapped itself for a decade, developing a profitable business and avoiding dilutive outside financing rounds along the way. Its initial product was survey software used in education.

The company now labels itself as "the leader in experience management software," offering a suite of products that help companies collect and use feedback from customers and employees.

Qualtrics raised institutional funding for the first time in 2012 from venture heavyweights Accel and Sequoia Capital. That $70 million round was followed by another $150 million in 2014 at a $1 billion valuation.

Co-founder and CEO Ryan Smith said in an e-mail that Qualtrics will generate more than $250 million in revenue this year.

"Qualtrics is already the size of most public companies," said Ryan Sweeney, a partner at Accel, in Wednesday's press release. "The interest from investors everywhere underscores the notion that Qualtrics is likely the best private software company on the market today."