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Unpacking Qualtrics’ brand-new S-1 filing

unpacking-qualtrics’-brand-new-s-1-filing

The Exchange is taking a break from vacation to dig into the new Qualtrics S-1 filing. Then the column and newsletter are back on hold until January 4th.

This afternoon, Qualtrics, a software company that helps companies poll their employee base, customers, and others, filed to go public. It’s the second time that the Utah-based unicorn has done so, failing the first time to complete its offering after SAP swooped in and bought it for around $8 billion in cash.


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SAP announced in late July of this year that Qualtrics would be spun out via an IPO, bringing the smaller company’s saga full-circle.

The new S-1 filing — you can view the 2018 original here — is a different animal from the first. First, Qualtrics is larger than it was, and older. And its financials are more complex as it extricates itself from its soon-to-be-erstwhile corporate parent.

Qualtrics intends to list on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “XM.”

Looking back at my chat with Ryan Smith, then Qualtrics CEO and today its chairman, and Bill McDermott, then SAP’s CEO and today the CEO of ServiceNow, it’s hard to believe that the acquisition deal was only two years ago.

Much has changed since late 2018. Let’s see what happened to Qualtrics in the meantime. We’ll dig into the financials, the company’s implied valuation range — spoiler: it has gone up — and whatever else we can shake loose.

The new Qualtrics S-1

A few things up top. First, SAP will be the company’s controlling shareholder after the Qualtrics’ IPO. That’s early in the S-1 filing. And, Smith and Silver Lake are investing in the company as part of its new debut.

What do you think?

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