The listing this week on the Nasdaq by the online survey specialist has generated roughly $1.5 million in legal fees and expenses for its outside lawyers at Wilson Sonsini, according to recent securities filings by SurveyMonkey.
The San Mateo, California-based company began trading Wednesday on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol “SVMK.” The popular pollster priced its IPO Tuesday night at $12 per share, just above its expected price range. SurveyMonkey was founded in 1999 as a part-time project by Ryan Finley, a computer science graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Finley subsequently formed SurveyMonkey.com in Oregon in 2004. As a nearly 20-year-old company, SurveyMonkey is older than many of its newly public peers. This summer, SurveyMonkey announced its plan for a future float and filed confidential paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Aug. 29.
Regulatory filings show that Palo Alto, California-based Wilson Sonsini corporate and securities partner Katharine Martin, tapped nearly a year ago to serve as chair of the firm’s board of directors, is advising SurveyMonkey on its IPO. Other Wilson Sonsini lawyers working on the matter include corporate partners Rezwan Pavri, who returned to the firm in early 2017 after a nearly three-year stint at Goodwin Procter, and Lisa Stimmell, as well as associates Andrew Gillman, Wesley Libuit, Anna Mascoli, Mike Moesel and Lianna Whittleton.
Lora Blum, a former corporate associate at Wilson Sonsini and one of The Recorder’s Women Leaders in Tech Law, joined SurveyMonkey two years ago as its general counsel. Blum, along with ex-Norton Rose Fulbright associate Adam Inglis, who now serves as director of legal at SurveyMonkey, are listed on securities filings for the company’s IPO. (SurveyMonkey’s previous in-house legal chief Eleanor Lacey, now general counsel of global security company Sophos Inc., was also once a Women Leader in Tech Law.)
Wilson Sonsini represented SurveyMonkey in 2011 when the company teamed up with private equity firm TPG Capital LP to acquire San Francisco-based research software company MarketTools Inc. Wilson Sonsini also previously advised longtime client Google LLC on its role in a nearly $800 million debt and equity recapitalization by SurveyMonkey five years ago that allowed the company to forgo an IPO.
A capital markets team from Latham led by Silicon Valley partners Tad Freese and Brian Paulson, associate Meredith Peake and New York-based partner and global corporate chair Marc Jaffe are counseling underwriters on SurveyMonkey’s IPO, a group composed of Allen & Co. LLC, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch and JPMorgan Securities LLC.
Other Latham lawyers representing the underwriters include tax partner Grace Lee, employee benefits and executive compensation partner James Metz, financial regulatory partner Dana Fleischman and associates Alan Beadle, Gail Neely, Mely Brianna Stellpflug and Ashley Wagner.
SurveyMonkey’s shares jumped by more than 60 percent immediately following its IPO this week. The listing gave the company a market capitalization of $1.46 billion. Concurrent with the IPO, SurveyMonkey also sold $40 million in stock to Salesforce Ventures, the venture capital arm of Salesforce.com Inc.