Pegasystems Acquires Co-Browsing Tool Firefly, The First Investment By First Round’s Dorm Room Fund

Pegasystems, a publicly traded Cambridge, Mass.-based company with 2,700 employees, just acquired co-browsing tool Firefly. They were a two-person startup built by recent University of Pennsylvania grads Dan Shipper and Justin Meltzer and that was funded by First Round Capital’s Dorm Room Fund.

The pair built a way for any website to insert a snippet of JavaScript so that it can be “co-browsed” with someone else. “Co-browsing” is kind of like screen-sharing, except it’s limited to the browser and doesn’t include surrounding applications that might be running in the background.

“Co-browsing is becoming a much more important part of how large enterprises are thinking about doing customer support,” Shipper said. “That’s Pegasystems’ customer base.”

Both Meltzer and Shipper are joining the company full-time and they’re not disclosing the acquisition price. Pegasystems is keeping Firefly’s product under a separate brand name, but they’re also integrating the company’s co-browsing technology into Pegasystems’ flagship product.

Pegasystems discovered the company because they were actively looking for a co-browsing solution to acquire. They found Firefly through some Googling, downloaded it and liked the software.

“We were really impressed by them,” Shipper said. “A lot of the things about their company fit with the kind of company we wanted to run and it just just blossomed from there.”

Aside from First Round’s $20,000 investment through its Dorm Room Fund, Firefly was totally bootstrapped. While staying in school, both Shipper and Meltzer built up a customer base made up of thousands of small- to medium-sized businesses. Shipper actually flew from his college graduation to close the deal a few weeks ago.

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