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Online-Polling Company SurveyMonkey Explodes in Its First Day of Trading

Shares of SurveyMonkey were on fire on their first day of trading in the market, with the stock seeing gains as high as 67% in it debut on the NASDAQ.

The company, which is the operating name of Svmk Inc., sold 15 million shares for $12 apiece after earlier offering 13.5 million of them for $9 to $11. Concurrent with the offering, the company also sold $40 million in stock to Salesforce.com Inc.’s venture capital arm.

According to the company’s IPO filing, SurveyMonkey has had over 16 million active users in the last year. CEO Zander Lurie had told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that the company handles more than 20 million answers from over 3 million people every day and that the company pays “great heed” to consumer privacy.

The company had reported a $27.18 million net loss on $121.2 million in revenue for the first half of 2018 according to the filing.

Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, who owns a 9.9% stake in the company, joined the board of SurveyMonkey in 2015, after the company’s CEO, and her husband, Dave Goldberg, had passed away.

Goldberg had become CEO of SurveyMonkey in 2009, and spent the next six years running the online survey company until his sudden death during a family trip to Mexico. His autopsy indicated he had a heart arrhythmia.

Current CEO Zander Lurie had this to say about Goldberg in the company’s prospectus: Dave died tragically and suddenly on May 1, 2015. Anyone who knew Dave will understand how devastating it was for the company — for all of Silicon Valley, actually — to lose such a visionary. Organizations that suffer that sort of shock can either unravel or rally. We rallied. I believe the company is more empathetic, more resilient and more determined because of Dave’s life and death.

Sandberg’s SurveyMonkey stake would be worth over $200 million now and she plans to donate all of her share to charity.

“Ms. Sandberg plans to donate all shares beneficially owned by her (or the proceeds from the sale thereof) to the Sheryl Sandberg and Dave Goldberg Family Foundation as part of fulfilling their philanthropic commitment to the Giving Pledge,” SurveyMonkey said in its IPO filing on Wednesday.

Serena Williams and Intuit CEO Brad Smith also serve on the company’s board and are investors in the company. According to SurveyMonkey’s website, 98% of the Fortune 500 rely on SurveyMonkey for People Powered Data.

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