Cloud software vendor Qualtrics begins trading on the Nasdaq

The Qualtrics International Inc. website on a smartphone arranged in the Brooklyn borough of New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021.

Gabby Jones | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Shares of Qualtrics, a cloud software vendor, soared in its initial public offering Thursday on the Nasdaq.

The stock began trading at $41.85 per share. Qualtrics had priced its shares at $30 a piece, just above its expected target range of $27 to $29 per share. The company sold about 51.7 million shares. The stock trades under the ticker symbol “XM.”

The stock was up more than 41% after it began trading.

Founded in 2002, Qualtrics sells software that helps businesses gauge how customers use their products so they can improve their offerings. The company aimed to take advantage of surging demand for high-growth cloud software companies amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Qualtrics originally planned to go public about two years ago, but instead was acquired by SAP for $8 billion. At the time, it was SAP’s second-biggest acquisition ever, following the $8.3 billion purchase of travel and expense software company Concur in 2014.

SAP announced last July that it would spin out Qualtrics while keeping most of its ownership. Qualtrics said in December, in its initial filing to go public, that private equity firm Silver Lake is buying a little over 4% of the stock for $550 million, while co-founder Ryan Smith is buying 1% for $120 million. Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan are the lead underwriters for Thursday’s offering.

Nominations are open for the 2021 CNBC Disruptor 50, a list of private start-ups using breakthrough technology to become the next generation of great public companies. Submit by Friday, Feb. 12, at 3 p.m. ET.

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