Qualtrics files IPO papers

Qualtrics is about to go public, for real this time. The cloud software vendor, which SAP acquired two years ago on the eve of a planned IPO, filed its paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday to carry on as an independent company. The initial pricing range of…

$20 to $24 a share would value Qualtrics at $12 billion to $14.4 billion, up from the $8 billion SAP paid.

Qualtrics will trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker “XM.”

Qualtrics sells software that helps businesses gauge how customers use their products so they can improve their offerings. Ryan Smith co-founded the company in 2002 with his brother and father, giving the family a 40% stake at the time of acquisition. Smith, who just purchased the NBA’s Utah Jazz, will remain chairman of the company, headquartered in Provo, Utah and Seattle. Zig Serafin is CEO.

Qualtrics is aiming to take advantage of surging demand for high-growth cloud software companies, a market that was hot before the pandemic and has gained even more traction from businesses investing in remote work tools and services. At least 10 subscription software companies have more than doubled in value this year, including ZoomTwilio and Datadog, while cloud data storage vendor Snowflake is worth close to $90 billion after its September IPO.

SAP former CEO Bill McDermott orchestrated the Qualtrics deal before leaving the company last year to take the top job at ServiceNow. Under new CEO Christian Klein, the German software giant is changing course and going in the opposite direction of Salesforce, which early this month agreed to buy Slack for $27.7 billion, its largest deal ever.

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