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Zendesk today announced that it’s entered into an agreement to acquire Momentive, including the latter’s popular SurveyMonkey platform. According to Zendesk CEO Mikkel Svane, the purchase will enable Zendesk customers to “build more meaningful relationships” by providing opportunities for Momentive and Zendesk to cross-sell and co-develop existing and future products, potentially driving Zendesk’s 2024 revenue to $3.5 billion.

“The SurveyMonkey brand is iconic, and we’ve admired their business from afar since the inception of Zendesk. They truly democratized an industry — almost everyone in the world has responded to one of their surveys at some point,” Svane said in a statement. “We’re very excited to have them join the Zendesk mission along with Momentive’s market research and insights products and together create a powerful new customer intelligence company. We will deliver a rich, colorful picture of every customer, so businesses really understand their customers and can build more authentic relationships.”

Launched in 1999, Momentive — formerly SurveyMonkey — offers cloud-based software to support service solutions across brand and market insights; product, employee, and customer experiences; online survey development; and a suite of paid backend programs. Founded by Ryan Finley and Chris Finley, Spectrum Equity and Bain Capital acquired a majority interest in the company in 2009.

Beginning in 2013, Momentive significantly expanded its operations, announcing HIPAA-compliant features for premium subscription holders and SurveyMonkey Genius, which estimates survey performance and makes suggestions to increase their effectiveness. 2017 marked the debut of another new product, SurveyMonkey CX, aimed at assisting organizations in managing their customer experience programs.

After acquiring a number of startup businesses — Precision Polling, Wufoo, Zoomerang, Fluidware, TechValidate, Usabilla, GetFeedback, and a 49.9% stake in the UK-based Clicktools — Momentive when public under the name SurveyMonkey in 2018. In 2021, it announced its rebranding to Momentive to encompass its SurveyMonkey, GetFeedback, and Momentive Insights services.

As of October 2018, Momentive’s revenue stood at $114.8 million. The company, which has 20 million users across 345,000 paying companies, has an estimated market cap of $3.61 billion.

“We look forward to combining with Zendesk to advance our mission and accelerate our long-term growth strategy,” Momentive CEO Zander Lurie, who will continue to lead Momentive following the acquisition, said in a press release. “This is a testament to the strength of our agile products and talented team. Zendesk and Momentive share a culture centered around our people, our communities, and the customers we serve. The synergies between our companies are proximate and compelling. We are uniquely positioned to make customer intelligence a reality ​​while delivering significant value for our shareholders.”

Customer experience research

Zendesk, which was founded in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2007, went public in 2014 after raising about $86 million in venture capital investments. In recent years, it has leaned heavily into automation, acquiring customer service automation startup Cleverly.ai and introducing a chatbot that has conversations with customers and attempts to help them find useful information, with algorithms that better predict answers.

In its vision for the Momentive acquisition, Zendesk says that the combined platforms will collect “critical information about customer needs, experiences, and expectations” while helping companies “bring a customer into focus” by “combining transactional data with market research and insights.” It’ll also enable teams to “take action with the full breadth of data about their customers,” Zendesk says, as well as “feedback and market insights.”

For Zendesk, which offers a platform that connects brands with customers over voice, chat, email, messaging, and social channels, the purchase appears to be a play for a larger slice of the expanding customer analytics market. According to Verified Market Research, the global customer analytics market was valued at $5.24 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach $20.82 Billion by 2028, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 19.30% from 2021 to 2028.

At its core, customer analytics is the process by which data from customer behavior is used to help make key business decisions via market segmentation and predictive analytics. Enterprises use this information for direct marketing, site selection, and customer relationship management. A recent McKinsey survey found that, among companies adopting customer analytics solutions, 50% are likely to have sales “well above” their competitors’ — versus only 22% of the laggards.

“A third of all survey participants rated customer analytics as extremely important for business success, positioning it among the top five drivers of their marketing,” the coauthors of the McKinsey survey wrote. “They consider it as important as price and product management, only a few percentage points below service and actions to enhance customer experience, and far ahead of the management of advertising campaigns — which only 20% view as a key driver of success.”

Zendesk notes that the Momentive transaction, which is anticipated to close in the first half of 2022, is subject to review by regulators in addition to Zendesk and Momentive stockholders. The boards of directors of both companies Momentive approved the deal, which will give Zendesk shareholders approximately 78% of the combined company and Momentive stockholders 22% (a ratio valuing Momentive stock at $28 per outstanding share).

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