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Parlano – Profile

October 8, 2004

HQ: Chicago
Founded: 2000
Management: CEO, Nick Ferra, and CIO, Bob Serr, have returned to the company after being bumped-off by one-time investor Divine Inc.’s team. Now that Divine is no longer part of the picture, new investors have brought the team back together.
Investors: Company raised $5.3M series B in October 2004 from Longworth Venture Partners (Lead) and Oak Investment Partners. Company was founded by the Swiss Bank UBS in the mid-90s for use by financial services companies, it was spun out and acquired by Divine Inc., and when that firm went bankrupt it was again spun out.
Business Model: Enterprise Instant Messenger platform sold primarily to financial services companies which have particular security and storeage requirements that cannot be serviced by consumer IM offerings. As Microsoft has jumped in, Parlano has joined the party hoping to find value on the edges.
Competitors: Microsoft Enterprise IM, GTV Sonark, Omnipod, Jabber, LiveOffice, Antepo.
Dirt: It’s a very competitive and difficult market, but of course, it’s a huge market and Parlano has the advantage of having a fairly large installed base. Competitors are looking to grow by combining functions like IM with video conferencing, but so far Parlano is sticking to its IM roots.


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