The Family That Founded Qualtrics Is Having an $8 Billion Holiday

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Ryan Smith, Co-Founder and CEO of Qualtrics / Clodagh Kilcoyne/Getty Images

Take a good look around as you gather together with your family this holiday season; you might have everyone you need to grow a multi-billion dollar business.

Qualtrics, a customer survey software maker, was founded in 2002 by Ryan Smith and his father Scott. A few years later, Ryan’s brother, Jared, left Google to join the family business. Earlier this month, SAP bought Qualtrics for $8 billion dollars. 

It’s not every day that you see a mom-and-pop shop with a billion-dollar price tag, but Qualtrics has always been a bit of an outlier in the tech industry. For their first ten years, Qualtrics didn't accept any VC funding. As their company grew, the Smiths resisted relocating to one of the tech centers on the coasts and kept their business headquartered in Provo, Utah. Last year, Ryan Smith only paid himself a CEO salary of $100,000. And a few years before their SAP buyout, the Smiths reportedly turned down a $500 million acquisition offer.

So ’tis the season to ask Uncle Ron about what he knows about lowering customer acquisition costs. Quiz your cousin Grace about her social media strategy. See if Pop Pop wants to get back into the sales game. In a few years, your family could have $8 billion reasons to be thankful, just like the Smiths.

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