SurveyMonkey planning significant Ottawa expansion: report

After slowly building up its headcount in Ottawa over the last two years, California-based software firm SurveyMonkey plans to go on a local hiring binge in the new year by adding dozens of staff, according to a media report. 

SurveyMonkey entered Ottawa when it acquired Fluidware in 2014. Since then, the company’s Ottawa presence has grown from 75 to nearly 90 as of September, Fluidware co-founder Aydin Mirzaee previously told OBJ.

However, SurveyMonkey CEO Zander Lurie recently told the Globe and Mail that the company may increase its Ottawa headcount by up to 50 per cent in 2017.

He added that the company is also looking to build a data centre in Canada in the coming year.

A spokesperson acting for SurveyMonkey declined to comment on the report.

Prior to acquiring Fluidware, SurveyMonkey was largely focused on a direct-to-consumer model. Acquiring the Ottawa startup was a way for the Palo Alto company to break into the business-to-business market Fluidware had been cultivating.

The local firm, co-founded by Mr. Mirzaee and Eli Fathi, developed survey and form-building products primarily for the enterprise market.

Mr. Mirzaee stayed on as general manager of FluidReview by SurveyMonkey for two years following the acquisition but left earlier this year to contemplate his next entrepreneurial move.

“I feel good leaving at this point in time because I feel like everything is in good hands and growing very rapidly and the Ottawa team is prospering. It seems like an opportune time to make the transition,” he told OBJ at the time.

SurveyMonkey, now a 17-year-old company, has been through difficult leadership transitions in the past year. In May of 2015, CEO David Goldberg died while vacationing in Mexico. He was replaced by Bill Veghte at the time, followed by Mr. Lurie in January of this year.

The company landed a US$250 million funding round in 2014 that reportedelyvalued the firm at US$2 billion.