SAP files IPO for Qualtrics as demand for ‘experience management’ software rises 36%

SAP has filed the paperwork to take its Qualtrics subsidiary public less than two years after the German software giant acquired the company, which makes “experience management” software.

The IPO filing only contains a preliminary price range of $20 to $24 per share and does not place an overall valuation on the company.

Qualtrics was on the verge of going public in late 2018, when SAP announced it would acquire the company for $8 billion in cash. Qualtrics’ SaaS-based platform allows companies to survey users on topics like professional services for targeted marketing and brand development. It dubs this service “experience management” (XM).

The acquisition was part of SAP’s move to expand its cloud-based services as the company tried to diversify its legacy software business. Even after the IPO, SAP will remain the majority shareholder in Qualtrics.

The companies did not offer a clear explanation for why they had decided to move forward with an IPO that would make Qualtrics a semi-independent subsidiary.

Qualtrics’ first full year as part of SAP seemed a strong one. According to the filing, Qualtrics has more than 12,000 customers and 3,300 employees. The company reported revenue of $723 million in the fiscal year 2020 ending in September, up 36% compared to the same period for 2019.

In the first nine months of 2020, Qualtrics had $550 million in revenue but still lost $258 million.

“In partnership with SAP, over the past two years we have increased our deal sizes, broadened and deepened our geographic footprint, and continued to build an exceptional team,” Qualtrics says in its S-1. “Leveraging the success we have had with SAP, we intend to continue growing Qualtrics into one of the biggest and most valuable enterprise software companies in the world. Going public will give us the speed, agility, and autonomy necessary to continue accelerating our leadership of the XM category.”

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