Sheryl Sandberg will donate SurveyMonkey IPO proceeds to honor late husband

Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Facebook, arrives with her husband David Goldberg, CEO of SurveyMonkey, for the first day of the Allen and Co. media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho July 9, 2014. The conference is the year's most exc

SurveyMonkey's initial public offering was well received investors with the stock soaring in early trading. The company raised $180 million, pricing at $12 per share, above the $9-$11 range. The online survey company now has a value of $1.6 billion, as noted by Renaissance Capital.

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Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, will honor her late husband by donating all of the shares she owns in SurveyMonkey to charity. The disclosure first came as the online polling company announced plans for the initial public offering.

Goldberg, who died suddenly in 2015 during a resort vacation in Mexico, was the CEO of SurveyMonkey. Sandberg who is a member of the board of directors owns 9.9 percent of the company.

“Ms. Sandberg plans to donate all shares beneficially owned by her (or the proceeds from the sale thereof) to the Sheryl Sandberg and Dave Goldberg Family Foundation as part of fulfilling their philanthropic commitment to the Giving Pledge,” as was noted in the SEC filing on the IPO.

“Ms. Sandberg plans to donate all shares beneficially owned by her (or the proceeds from the sale thereof) to the Sheryl Sandberg and Dave Goldberg Family Foundation as part of fulfilling their philanthropic commitment to the Giving Pledge”

The “Giving Pledge,” created by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett, has an open invitation to wealthy individuals to donate a bulk of their wealth to charity. Sandberg’s net worth is pegged at $1.7 billion, according to Forbes.

In addition to being second in command to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, she also cemented her role as a business thought leader with her book, “Lean In,” which encourages women to mentor each other in the workplace. The tome spent many weeks on The New York Times best-seller list.

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Goldberg's untimely death prompted Sandberg to share her struggles as a new widow, with two children, in a thought provoking essay she shared on Facebook following his death.

SurveyMonkey CEO Zander Lurie also paid tribute to Goldberg as a visionary in the IPO filing.

“Dave died tragically and suddenly on May 1, 2015. Anyone who knew Dave will understand how devastating it was for the company – for all of Silicon Valley, actually – to lose such a visionary,” he said in the filing. “Organizations that suffer that sort of shock can either unravel or rally. We rallied. I believe the company is more empathetic, more resilient and more determined because of Dave’s life and death.”

Like many tech companies on the IPO track, SurveyMonkey is not profitable.

“We incurred net losses of $76.4 million, $24.0 million, $19.1 million and $27.2 million for 2016 and 2017, and for the six months ended June 30, 2017 and 2018, respectively, as we continue to invest in our business to capture our large market opportunity,” notes the filing. The company is generating revenues as listed in the filing, “For 2016 and 2017, and for the six months ended June 30, 2017 and 2018, our revenue was $207.3 million, $218.8 million, $106.5 million and $121.2 million, respectively.”

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SurveyMonkey’s plans to go public come as the Nasdaq Composite crossed 8,000 for the first time, helped in part by record share prices of tech heavyweights, including Apple and Amazon.

Shares will be listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “SVNK.”

*The original story was updated to reflect the quote from MonkeySurvey CEO Zander Lurie. The 8/30/18 article was updated to include IPO details.