Facebook acquires Parse to enter world of mobile backend services

April 26, 2013

Facebook has acquired Parse in a move that marks its first foray into paid, business-to-business services and an emphasis on growing its developer community.

Parse will continue to operate under its own brand and all the Parse customers will continue to use Parse services as they currently are. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, although Parse’s impressive traction and talented team, the amount must have been high.

CEO Ilya Sukhar said in an interview with VentureBeat that Parse had been working with Facebook’s platform team on partnerships for a while and realized they shared similar goals.

“We’ve built up a great community of developers and had great growth,” he said. “We have a long roadmap in terms of making it easier to build an app, but the one thing people consistently asked us is ‘what can Parse do for me in terms of distribution and monetization?’ These are areas where you need a broader platform to make a difference. This acquisition will bring huge reach in terms of developers and raw users, and make it a one-stop-shop for all your applications needs.”

Parse’s platform simplifies the process of mobile app development. It takes care of the nitty gritty, technical, server-side side of mobile development so developers can focus on other areas, like user experience and design. The backend is basically outsourced to Parse, which also offers software development kits to incorporate features like push notifications, social logins, and payments.

Parse currently powers more than 60,000 applications and is tapped into a wide community of developers, and consistent revenue stream, that Facebook will now benefit from. Thousands of apps are integrated with Facebook and this agreement will mean that the company can offer infrastructure, as well as distribution.

Sukhar said that he wasn’t looking to get acquired and the choice wasn’t so much between multiple acquisition offers, as between ways to support the company’s growth. Instead of doing this through additional venture funding or more strategic partnerships, joining forces with Facebook was the best fit. For Facebook, it means a whole new area to explore in terms of products and services and the latest step in becoming enmeshed one way or another in every part of our lives.

Parse launched in 2011 and participated in Y Combinator. It  raised $7 million from Ignition Partners, Start Fund, Google Ventures, Menlo Ventures, SV Angel, Yuri Milner, Aaron Iba, Garry Tan, Chris Fanini, Sean Knapp, Don Dodge and David Rusenko.

Read blog posts from Facebook and Parse about the announcement.

Copyright 2013, VentureBeat

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