The trend in the startup acceleration industry is specialization. There are accelerators focused on health (Rock Health, Healthbox, Blueprint Health and SXSW Health) or B2B accelerators (such as Tech Wildcatters). There is even one which specializes on women-led startups in the mobile space, named predictably WomenInnovateMobile. Yes, I know…
But today’s news is about a cloud software accelerator funded by Runa Capital and Parallels. Both companies have been founded by Serguei Beloussov, the Russian entrepreneur turned investor. Parallels, a virtualization and hosting software company, is a rare global success story in Russia. Runa Capital, which originates in Russia, funds growth-stage companies globally.
Marketing cloud-based software to small and medium size businesses (SMEs) is expensive. What Parallels and Runa Capital plan to do is to select APS-certified cloud based product and services companies, and upsell their products through Parallels’ distribution network, which consists of 5,000 service providers serving 12 million SMEs.
The approach may just work, provided that the Parallels’ organization is agile enough to implement it. When corporate acquisitions fail to extract synergies, it often happens because of bureaucracy and poor execution. So let’s see how the Parallels’ organization which has grown to 800 people worldwide, will be able to add value to its accelerator companies.
The accelerator does not specify exact financial terms. For those looking to apply, contact Runa Capital by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org prior to obtaining APS certification.