SurveyMonkey’s Goldberg Drives Global Ambition Adding Turkey

Dave Goldberg, chief executive officer of LLC, is pushing ahead with his global ambitions for the online survey company by adding a Turkish language service.

Goldberg, founder of LAUNCH Media Inc. which he sold to Yahoo! Inc. in 2001, has led an almost threefold increase in monthly unique visitors since he joined in 2009. SurveyMonkey won investment from Google Inc. and Tiger Global Management LLC in January in a fundraising that valued the Palo Alto, California-based company at about $1.35 billion.

“I saw one of the opportunities was to take the company and really globalize it,” Goldberg said in an interview. Turkey will be “one of our biggest markets in Europe.”

International revenue should account for about 80 percent of total sales, compared with approximately 50 percent today, he said. Turkish is the 16th language added by the company which is growing overseas at twice the rate seen in its home market.

“Half of our traffic is international. Long term we would want that to be 80 percent,” said Goldberg, who is married to Facebook Inc. Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, in an interview two days ago after announcing the start of the Turkish service.

SurveyMonkey had $113 million in revenue last year and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $62 million. The company, acquired by an investor group led by Spectrum Equity Investors in 2009, has 280 employees, almost all of them based at its headquarters in Palo Alto.

SurveyMonkey’s profitability means it doesn’t need to raise cash and isn’t considering further investments or a share offering, Goldberg said. It’s also not considering opening offices in other locations where it’s started domestic-language services, he said.

“Not to say we’ll never go public, but we might never go public,” he said. “It’s a very good business and we don’t need marketing people: the product sells itself, but the virality wasn’t working because there was a language barrier.”

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