SurveyMonkey, the popular online survey system, has revealed that it confidentially filed for an IPO through its parent company, SVMK Inc. Founded in 1999 at the height of the dot-com boom, SurveyMonkey has managed to not only survive while many of its competitors and peers floundered, but also to thrive.

A report by Business Insider reveals that the company was valued at $2 billion back in 2014, although there is no word yet on what the valuation will be when the company goes public. After nearly 20 years of flying largely under the radar, SurveyMonkey is now poised to grab the attention of many in the financial world. Potential investors may be left wondering, however, exactly how this company makes money.

Free or Premium Modes

SurveyMonkey offers what's called a "freemium" model according to the company's website. This means that users can choose to opt for a free set of survey services or for a more powerful platform that requires a paid membership. As the company suggests, "we allow users to use our most basic tools for free, while designating our more advanced features and resources to our paid plans."

Users opting for the free SurveyMonkey services are able to generate surveys of up to 10 questions and 100 responses, and they are able to use some of the basic data processing tools. SurveyMonkey sees the free service as a way for customers to sample their products and to become acquainted with the feedback collection process in general.

The paid side of the freemium model offers users with many more options, including various types of survey logic, unlimited access to filters and crosstabs and more. As of March 2016, SurveyMonkey had approximately 33 million users across both sides of its platform and generated about $200 million in revenue with profit margins in the mid-30% range.

Other Organization Solutions

While many users may only be familiar with SurveyMonkey's basic survey offerings, the company has introduced a host of business solutions and services as well. Some, like SurveyMonkey CX, are intended for customers, while others, like SurveyMonkey Apply, can be used by organizations and companies to deal with the process of creating and accepting applications for positions, awards and more.

In 2016, SurveyMonkey CEO Zander Laurie suggested that the company had a plethora of ideas and indicated that "the discipline is picking a few and not letting the others distract us." He added that the "core SurveyMonkey products are some of the most profitable and successful internet subscription products in history." At that stage, the company was focused on "creating business-grade solutions for customers that allow them to get more/do more with their survey results" and on "[leveraging] our scale and the data we're collecting."

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