Firefly acquired by Pegasystems

I’m incredibly excited to announce today that Firefly has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Pegasystems.

Over the past 2 years, we’ve worked hard to become the technology layer that powers collaboration across the web. Today we enable co-browsing on a variety of platforms serving thousands of organizations in multiple verticals including customer support, financial services, and sales.

For a startup as small as ours (two full time co-founders, three part time contractors) an acquisition announcement can sometimes be a bad thing for existing customers. Fortunately, over the life of the company, we’ve managed to create a profitable and growing business, and as part of this acquisition, we’ve made sure that not much will be changing for our customers:

We’ll be retaining our current product brand as part of Pega’s family of solutions. We’ll also continue our relationships with current customers and continue to sell Firefly as a stand-alone product.

That said, a few things will change. We hope these changes will allow us to bring our co-browsing to even more of the world’s largest organizations and will also allow Justin and me to get some sleep every once in a while.

As a small company primarily servicing larger businesses, we’ve tried to maintain a level of service and reliability that you might expect from a much larger organization.

I remember at least a few customers who called our 24-hour hotline with an issue at 3 AM and were surprised to find that the Firefly employee on the other end of the phone was not someone in an overseas call center, but was instead a co-founder groggily answering a cell phone that had been stashed under their pillow.

Being part of Pega means that we will have an entire organization behind us to support our existing and future customers:

We’ll have a world-class support eco-system that can provide 24/7, 365-day service.

We’ll have Pega’s broad range of operational experience and world class customers.

We’ll have the deep investment in and knowledge of security best practices the biggest companies in the world expect.

And we’ll get something even more important.

From almost the beginning, we’ve known Firefly’s co-browsing product worked best integrated as part of a larger platform.

That’s a key reason we launched our co-browsing API: it’s such a generally useful technology, we wanted to give our customers the ability to create collaborative experiences inside of whatever vertical they wanted, no matter what product they had.

Through this acquisition, we can offer co-browsing to our customers as a part of Pega’s existing platform. In addition to continuing to sell Firefly stand-alone, we will unify our technology with Pega’s flagship CRM product, expanding the reach of our co-browsing technology to Pega’s global customers which include many of the world’s leading brands.

Aside from the obvious fit between our product and Pega’s, there were deeper reasons why becoming a part of Pega in particular made sense for us.

We had a very clear idea of what we wanted to do when we started Firefly: we wanted to build a real business that made money from day one, and that we could grow organically without leaving school.

Although this mentality is somewhat off the beaten path for many young tech companies, over time we’ve attracted other people who believed in what we were doing as well. For example, we were lucky enough to be the first investment of the Dorm Room Fund - a fund started by First Round Capital that invests in other student-run startups.

When we first came across Pega, we knew we had found another company that thinks the same way we do. Founder Alan Trefler started the company in 1983 a few years after graduating from Dartmouth. Alan grew Pega organically from a one-man operation to a 2,700 employee public company in the 30 years that followed. He remains the CEO today.

Pega is a model of sustainable, scrappy, long-term growth, as well as hardcore innovation in the enterprise BPM and CRM space. We have a lot to learn from them, and we think they’re the right organization to help us push this product forward into the future.

Over the past two years, we’ve taken Firefly from a PennApps project built while we were still in college, to a profitable business serving thousands of companies, to this acquisition by Pega. It has been a privilege to have the opportunity to work on this every day.

Thank you to our customers, to the Dorm Room Fund, and to the many people who helped us and mentored us along the way.

Best,

Dan and Justin

About Firefly

Firefly offers co-browsing technology that allows two people to browse a website together in real-time.

Firefly’s product works like traditional screen sharing but it’s different in a number of key ways. Firefly never requires a download or an installation for either the viewer or the presenter.  It only shares the web page itself - it never shares other open browser tabs or other open applications on the computer.  Firefly is also completely platform agnostic - it works on Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad and Android devices.

Firefly’s technology is used by a broad range of companies in very different verticals. Many companies use it as a customer support tool to help diagnose customer issues more quickly and guide confused customers around a website.

Firefly also offers a co-browsing API that allows any company to integrate its collaboration technology into any platform, for any purpose.

Founded in 2012, Firefly serves thousands of small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs), a number of large enterprises, as well as thousands of financial advisors from some of the largest financial services companies in the world.

About Pegasystems

Pegasystems Build for Change® Platform is the heart of Better Business Software®. It delivers business agility and empowers leading organizations to rapidly close execution gaps and seize new opportunities. Pegasystems leverages its recognized leadership in Business Process Management (BPM), Multi-Channel Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Business Rules, and Adaptive Analytics to uniquely give its clients the power to engage customers, simplify operations and Build For Change®. For more information, please visit us at www.pega.com.  

More information

Please see the press release here. 

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