Provo-based survey and research company Qualtrics has received $70 million in Series A funding from Accel Partners and Sequoia Capital, both venture capital firms based in Silicon Valley, which will lead to 250 new jobs in Utah.
The $70 million investment is the largest in the history of Utah startups is the largest ever made by the two firms.
“Data continues to proliferate through the enterprise in areas beyond the data center,” said Ryan Sweeney, general partner at Accel Partners, in a statement. “As external data generated from customers, sales reps, channel partners, and employees also explodes, Qualtrics is uniquely positioned to help its customers proactively act on this information with its suite of professional-grade software products.”
Sweeney will serve on Qualtrics board to help advise the company.
Qualtrics provides research and analytics for major companies through surveys and panels. Some of the company’s clients include GEICO, Microsoft and Southwest Airlines.
“Companies are becoming more data driven,” Jim Swartz, founder of Accel Capital. “This company is playing into those major trends with a really good product.”
The market for survey companies, like Qualtrics, could reach $1 billion, said Swartz who has been a Park City resident for about 15 years.
Accel sought out Qualtrics for investment, and the process took about 9 months to complete.
Scott Smith, a professor of marketing at BYU, started the company after becoming fascinated with using the Internet to speed up research in the late 1990s. His sons Ryan and Jared helped build the company from their home.
“Today most research and data collection is outsourced at great expense, or done internally with tools that are either too basic or much too complex,” said Ryan Smith, CEO and co-founder of Qualtrics in a statement. “We offer end users the do-it-yourself tools and rich analytics they need to be responsive to afast-changing market, with security and collaboration across the enterprise.”
Both Accel and Sequoia have holdings in major technology companies like Dropbox, Facebook and Zynga.