Ryan Smith, proprietor of Utah Jazz, is main Qualtrics’ preliminary public providing whereas the group strikes for the primary time
Ryan Smith, Qualtrics CEO and Co-Founder of 5 for the Fight, speaks at the press conference on the renewal of the Five for the Fight Qualtrics Jersey Patch for the 2022-2023 season on October 21, 2019 at Zions Bank Basketball Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Melissa Majchrzak | National Basketball Association | Getty Images
On Wednesday evening, Ryan Smith, the new owner of Utah Jazz, celebrated his team’s 10th win in a row, which catapulted the team to first place over the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA’s Western Conference.
Then he woke up and rang the Nasdaq’s virtual bell.
The 42-year-old Smith floated his software company Qualtrics on Thursday and spun it out of SAP. It was a long-awaited moment for Smith looking to take Qualtrics through an IPO in late 2018, when SAP stepped in at the last minute with an $ 8 billion offer. Now the company is worth over $ 27 billion.
The deal is a godsend for Smith. He invested $ 120 million in the offer and bought 6 million shares for $ 20 each, which was a 33% discount on the offer price. That stake is now valued at over $ 273 million. Qualtrics rose 52% to $ 45.50 on its first day of trading.
It was quite a start into 2021 for Smith. As a lifelong jazz fan, Smith had the unlikely opportunity last year to buy the team for $ 1.6 billion from the Miller family, who had owned the franchise for 36 years . He sat at court for years and was closely associated with the team. He sponsored the uniform patch with his “Five for the Fight” campaign to fund cancer research.
Rudy Gobert # 27 of Utah Jazz reacts after dipping in the third quarter of the game against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on March 6, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Omar Rawlings | Getty Images
Jazz got off to a mediocre start when the season started last month, but the team are now 14-4 after beating the Dallas Mavericks by 12 points on Wednesday night, even if top scorer Donovan Mitchell was out. Smith was in attendance, along with a few fans who are forced to stay socially distant due to Covid-19 restrictions. TV viewers saw the Qualtrics logo on parts of the Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City.
After the game, Smith awarded head coach Quin Snyder the match ball for coaching his 500th regular season game.
“This is my night job,” Smith said in an interview with CNBC on Thursday before Qualtrics began trading. He admitted that between basketball and business, “we’ve had a good run”.
Smith is still the chairman of Qualtrics, but passed the CEO title to Zig Serafin, who joined the company in 2016. Smith’s family owned 40% of Qualtrics when SAP bought it, which made him a billionaire. Now he’s doing a second run. (After the spin-off, SAP still owns more than 80% of its shares.)
Qualtrics develops cloud-based software that enables companies to stay in touch with their customers, monitor the use of their products, and use data and analysis to make improvements on the fly. The company has grown its customer base from 9,000 two years ago to around 13,000. Revenue in the first three quarters of 2020 rose over 30% to $ 550 million from $ 413.4 million in the prior-year period.
One notable customer is the NBA – and that relationship precedes Smith’s possession of jazz. According to Qualtrics’ prospectus, the NBA is using the technology to design its digital tools to appeal to fans and to “gain insight into the emotions and feelings of fans and the experiences of NBA League Pass subscribers.”
Starting last year, with the coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent closure of the league, Qualtrics worked with the NBA to make the Orlando Bubble an enjoyable experience for viewers, tracking players, staff and staff for safety and security To ensure health.
“We use a lot of Qualtrics to help test and track Covid,” said Smith.
– CNBC’s Alex Sherman contributed to this report
CLOCK: CNBC’s interview with Ryan Smith, Co-Founder of Qualtrics, and Zig Serafin, CEO
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