US software firm Qualtrics eyes M&As to drive Asian expansion

Photographer: Sanjit Das/Bloomberg

US software enterprise Qualtrics – which raised $180 million Series C round at a valuation of $2.5 billion – is drawing up its blueprint to expand reach in the Asian market, by way of acquisitions.

Founded in 2002, Qualtrics makes research software that allows companies to track user experiences on a unified platform. In September, it announced a $2 million investment to establish its Southeast Asia headquarters in Singapore, with plans to ramp up investments here over the next three years. Its Singapore operations are headed by Foo Mao Gen, who was previously VP (Asia) at Canadian business software maker OpenText.

Bill McMurray, Managing Director, Asia Pacific & Japan (APJ) for Qualtrics, told this portal: “M&As are always an option and we are constantly assessing opportunities to expand our solution offering in areas where an acquisition results in capability more quickly than building it ourselves.”

“The current focus for us is to accelerate our footprint across Asia, a key growth region, starting with the establishment of our Southeast Asia hub. Simultaneously, Qualtrics has plans to expand further and establish an operation in Japan by the end of 2017,” he adds.

According to McMurray, Asia Pacific is a “significant revenue driver” for its global business, with the market less penetrated than the US. He reports that Qualtrics is “growing at 100 per cent per annum in term of revenue” in the region.

He adds, “Over the next three years, our goal is to grow customer acquisition substantially, from the current 70 customers to over 500 by 2020.”

Qualtrics acquired its first company last year called Statwing, which provides web-based statistical analysis software. The software has now been integrated with the Qualtrics platform.

On potential acquisition targets, he said, “While we will not disclose which type of companies or focus areas, we are always willing to look at leading edge technologies which can be integrated into our platform to the benefit of our customers.” 

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.