Qualtrics acquires Seattle marketing software startup Usermind

Michel Feaster, Usermind CEO. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)

Experience management software giant Qualtrics has acquired Usermind, a Seattle marketing startup that helps companies acquire, retain, and service customers.

Founded in 2013, Usermind is a leader in the “Journey Orchestration” market, which includes companies that help clients analyze customer relationships and facilitate relevant personalized communication.

Qualtrics is somewhat similar. Businesses use its platform to collect data on how customers, employees and others experience their products and services, taking action based on the results.

Qualtrics went public in January and raised $1.55 billion, more than two years following its $8 billion acquisition to SAP. It will use Usermind to boost its “Qualtrics XM Directory” that helps track customer interactions.

Usermind has about 40 employees, according to LinkedIn.

“We started Usermind because we believe companies should know exactly where customers are in their journey, know when things go wrong, and be able to proactively guide customers to the best experience possible,” Usermind CEO Michel Feaster said in a blog post.

Qualtrics is co-headquartered in Seattle, where it has about 800 of its 3,300 employees, and had revenue of $763 million in 2020.

Feaster noted that “like us, they believe that building legendary software companies outside of Silicon Valley is essential to spread economic opportunity more broadly across the U.S.”

The deal, announced Tuesday, marks the latest chapter in what’s been a bit of a roller coaster for Usermind over the past several years. The company laid off 15 employees (25% of its staff) in March at the outset of the pandemic last year. But then it saw increased demand as companies accelerated their digital adoption. Usermind raised a $14 million round in January to support its growth.

“Monitoring customer satisfaction in every moment, in every channel went from a best practice to a mission-critical capability as businesses innovated digitally to survive,” said Feaster.

The deal is also part of a red-hot market for IPOs, venture capital, and acquisitions across the tech industry, and in Seattle.

Usermind had raised $60 million in total from investors including WestRiver Group, Andreessen Horowitz, Menlo Ventures, Charles River Ventures, and others.

Feaster co-founded the startup eight years ago with Przemek Pardyak, who left the company in 2016 and is now at Google. Feaster previously worked at Apptio and HP Software.

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Startups Acquisition Qualtrics Usermind