SurveyMonkey, an internet company that enables people to poll friends, colleagues and customers, is bringing its professional polling service to Britain, marking its first foray into Europe.
Launched a couple of years ago in the United States, SurveyMonkey Audience has a 4.5 million- strong panel ready to answer questions. It is used by companies to get feedback on new products or on ads.
Investors, stock market analysts and academics also make use of it. "Most SurveyMonkey usage is people sending surveys to people they already know, whether its to their own customers, employees or fellow parents at school," chief executive Dave Goldberg said.
"But sometimes you need to ask a group of people you don't know what they think about a new product idea, a new name, a new ad you are running, or how they view your competitors."
Goldberg said Survey Monkey Audience would not replace the services offered by traditional market researchers but it could offer quick insights on new products or ads. The service was also being used in the US for academic research, he said, and about 20pc of surveys were done by investors and analysts doing original research on stocks.
Goldberg, married to Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg, said next year well in excess of 10pc of SurveyMonkey's revenue would come from SurveyMonkey Audience.
The privately owned SurveyMonkey made $11m in revenue and $62m in earnings in 2012, the last year for which numbers were publicly available.