Corel acquires leading cross-platform solution publisher Parallels

This story initially appeared in East-West Digital News, an international news resource covering the Russian innovation scene.

Parallels, a global leader in cross-platform solutions founded in 2000, has been acquired by the Canadian software giant Corel.

As a result, “Corel now offers the complete Parallels product line as part of its industry-leading software portfolio,” according to a corporate statement .

Parallels’ products – including its popular software for running Windows on Mac – are intended to simplify the access and use of applications and files on any device or operating system. “We help businesses and individuals securely and productively use their favorite devices and preferred technology,” claims the company.

The terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed, but TechCrunch heard from “sources close to the company” that it was “an all-cash deal” and “not a big exit.”

In an exchange with East-West Digital News, Parallels founder Serguei Beloussov  claimed, on the contrary, that it was “a good and solid exit,” while declining to reveal the amount.

Back in 2013, when Parallels Holdings (which included at that time four businesses, two of which have been sold since then) secured an equity investment from Cisco, a Russian analyst estimated that its valuation could possibly be comprised “between $400 and $500 million.”

Corel plans to inject “significant” amounts into the company, in which it sees “exceptional opportunities for growth.” The Toronto-based company wants to “leverage the strengths of both companies’ extensive customer bases, robust partner networks, and globally known brands.”

An international model for Russian IT entrepreneurs

Parallels is sometimes perceived as being a Russian company – which is not actually the case, since it was initially registered in Singapore. The company now has its headquarters established in the USA and offices in 10 countries other countries across the world.

Its R&D teams are located in the USA, Malta, Estonia and Russia, Beloussov told EWDN.

Parallels is, nevertheless, the brainchild of a Russian-speaking team, offering one of the first examples of an IT company leveraging talents from the former Soviet Union and succeeding globally.

Parallels’ main co-founders are Nick Dobrovolsky, Andro Omelyanchuk and Jack Zubarev, in addition to Beloussov.

Venerated by a generation of IT entrepreneurs in his country of origin, Beloussov was born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) in 1971. After graduating from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, a top university also know as ‘Phystech,’ he emigrated to Singapore in 1994 and became a Singaporean citizen in 2001. Beloussov is also behind Acronis, a global data protection company, and Acumatica, a publisher of ERP solutions. He is a founding partner of Runa Capital and a co-founder of QWave Capital, two venture funds operating globally (see more biographical details here).

In 2005, Parallels received an initial capital injection from Intel Capital, Insight Venture Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners. Further on, important global companies such as GoogleCisco and Ingram Micro Inc. supported its development.

Apple began offering the Parallels program worldwide in 2006, following Steve Jobs’ unexpected personal involvement.

In 2010-11, Parallels secured again investments from Bessemer and PE firm Russia Partners (Siguler Guff) before receiving grant support from Skolkovo. In 2014, the company received an additional capital injection  from Maxfield Capital, a fund connected with Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg.

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