- SAP bought survey software company Qualtrics for $8 billion in cash, according to a company announcement Sunday.
- SAP wants to optimize Qualtrics' experience management (XM) data with its operational data to scale for a more global reach. Qualtrics was valued at $2.5 billion prior to the acquisition and the company filed for an IPO in October. Its customers include Microsoft, JetBlue, HP Inc. and General Electric.
- Qualtrics founders, brothers Ryan and Jared Smith, and other shareholders are expected to receive about $7 billion, making the brothers big tech's newest billionaires, reports Fortune. Ryan Smith famously evaded venture capital money before signing deals with Accel and Sequoia Capital in 2012.
Before becoming one of the largest tech darlings from Utah, the Smith brothers began Qualtrics in their parents' basement.
The software helps companies measure how they can offer and improve customer experience, an invaluable tool for companies that exist in physical locations and online.
A company's ability to harness data and drive meaningful insight from analytics can push them ahead of competition. Every company benefits from knowing more about their customers and their needs. And SAP wants to be the company that offers the tool to help with that.
Qualtrics expects to exceed $400 million in revenue for FY18, with a growth rate greater than 40% year-over-year, according to the announcement.
Ryan Smith, co-founder and CEO, is keeping his leadership title and is expected to continue oversight over the company's headquarters in Utah and Washington.
Companies like Dropbox and Salesforce have proven retaining their founders, or "creatives," as chief executive is possible. However, tech startups are notorious for running into trouble when their founders don't come with a traditional career in management.