Qualtrics latest round of funding marks huge leap forward for experience management tech company founded in 2002.

The software company, which is part of Salt Lake City’s growing tech scene, said last week that it  had raised $180 million at a valuation of $2.5 billion. The new financing round led by Insight Venture Partners and Accel has increased Qualtrics’ valuation by a factor of two and a half.

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Qualtrics’ CEO Ryan Smith announcing the world’s first experience management platform last month.

The new investment is significant. From a purely revenue point of view, Qualtrics is already the size of most publicly traded companies, and has a somewhat unique position in that it is highly regarded as being one of the best private software companies on the market today.

Surpassed aggressive goals

“We have been following Qualtrics since 2010. Each year, they have surpassed aggressive goals and continued to stay cash flow positive. The company has even grown at an accelerating rate over this time, placing them among the best-performing enterprise software companies we’ve ever worked with,” said Ryan Sweeney, partner at Accel and Qualtrics board member. 

Despite the ‘Unicorn’ label, Qualtrics doesn’t quite fit the definition for being called as such. While it has been valued as a billion dollar company for some time, it was founded almost twenty years ago, and its rise has been slow and steady. The company has over a thousand employees and offices around the world.

Far from its roots

Qualtrics started out as a survey research tool for academia. But now the company labels itself as “the leader in experience management software,” offering a suite of products that help companies collect and use feedback from customers and employees.

Experience management

Last month, Qualtrix launched a new program at its annual conference that it calls “experience management” software. The ‘XM Platform’ purports to manage the four core experiences of business—customer, employee, product and brand experience—in one single enitity so companies can find out “what’s really happening” aside from the operational data companies already track.

The news is significant because the $180 million raised and the $2.5 billion valuation is is reminiscent of the type of activity that took place in Silicon Valley between 2013 and 2015. Then, venture investing reached levels not seen since the dot-com bubble. The market however took a big hit last year after it became clear that not every tech firm had a product or service that could justify the price tags being touted.