Facebook Parse Acquisition (Part 2) with Ilya Sukhar

Ilya Sukhar founded Parse in 2011 to make cloud services for mobile developers. Parse was a newer kind of cloud provider called “backend-as-a-service”, built to simplify the complexities of Amazon Web Services and the complexities of the mobile ecosystem. 

During this time, Facebook was in the middle of its shift toward becoming a mobile application company. Ads on the smartphone were not yet a proven business model. Facebook was exploring other business lines, and decided to purchase Parse for $85 million, with the intention of building a cloud developer platform.

Shortly after the acquisition, Facebook’s mobile ads business started to see considerable success. With the mobile ads business finding traction, Facebook shifted all available resources towards supporting that business model. In 2017, Parse was shut down.

Ilya joins the show to give his experience starting Parse, selling the company to Facebook, and then seeing the company he had built get shut down as it became an unfortunate casualty of Facebook’s advertising success. We talked a lot about the experience of building a backend-as-a-service company, as well as what makes Facebook special as an organization, and how the success of Facebook’s mobile business happened to coincide with the Parse acquisition.

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