SAP’s $8B Qualtrics Acquisition is a Win for Seattle and Provo’s Tech Communities

Just days ago, Wall Street was expecting experience management software firm Qualtrics to debut on Nasdaq. Now, traders won’t have a chance to snap up Qualtrics shares — but for a good reason.

Enterprise giant SAP announced last night that it has acquired Qualtrics for an eye-popping $8 billion. Qualtrics was expecting to go public this week, having filed its S-1 toward the end of October.

SAP CEO Bill McDermott and Qualtrics CEO Ryan Smith told VentureBeat in a phone interview this morning that although the pair have been in talks for months, the deal came together over this weekend, before Smith was expected to resume Qualtrics’ IPO road show. The two believe there’s great potential in combining SAP’s operational data with Qualtrics’ experience data, gathered through surveys and data analysis powered by Qualtrics’ software.

Qualtrics has nearly 2,000 employees, with dual headquarters in Seattle and Provo, Utah. The deal, which is expected to close in the first half of 2019, is poised to be the largest tech exits in each of these communities this year.

McDermott said that SAP plans to maintain Qualtrics’ presence in both cities. SAP already has thousands of employees in the Seattle metro area, having purchased travel expense management firm Concur in 2014 for $8.3 billion. McDermott praised the potential he’s seen in Provo, saying that the Qualtrics acquisition “gives us a whole new way of looking at this space around the United States where we can really attract a wonderful workforce and a beautiful community with great culture, tremendous commitment to innovation.”

“I’m really impressed on the IT side, and high-tech innovation side. I think Silicon Valley’s got its work cut out for them on competing with Utah,” McDermott added.

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VentureBeat Tue, 11/20/2018 - 09:09