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SurveyMonkey releases popular consumer poll service for businesses

SAN FRANCISCO -- Dave Goldberg has an answer for all those corporations that have been asking for SurveyMonkey to roll out a product for business customers: It’s here.

On Monday the Palo Alto company began making available SurveyMonkey Enterprise.

It’s a major switch for the 12-year-old company. Consumers used to sign up for free or paid versions of the service that creates quick polls by visiting the company’s website and creating an account.

Goldberg, SurveyMonkey’s chief executive, said employees at most major corporations already use the service.

Now, businesses can enroll up to 25 employees for SurveyMonkey Enterprise for $65 per employee or $780 a year and manage all the data. Companies can also enroll more than 25 employees for "special pricing." Among the first customers are Aetna, Hearst Corp. and the New York Giants.

SurveyMonkey is hiring salespeople to pitch the product to large organizations. The company sees this push into the business world as a major opportunity.

Investors are placing big bets on the survey business. SurveyMonkey, which has 280 employees, raised nearly $800 million in January at a valuation of $1.35 billion.

Goldberg, a former Yahoo executive who is married to Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, said a product geared to businesses was the most frequent request from customers.

“People want consolidated billing, control over user accounts, wanted to be able to share and collaborate among accounts,” Goldberg said in an interview last week. “We look at this as helping people make better decisions with data.”

It’s part of the growing trend of consumer-friendly Web tools making their way inside corporations. Often, employees are the ones to prod their companies to begin using the tools.

“I think it’s going to be interesting to see what happens over the next couple of years as more and more companies like ours that have this consumer angle and ease of use move into the enterprise,” Goldberg said.

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