Customer Collaboration Software Platform
Parlay is a customer collaboration platform for software companies.
With Parlay, companies can engage their customers in a proactive and personal manner, while customers can offer feedback and ideas regarding new products and features.
Think of all the digital products people use: there are platforms like HubSpot and SurveyMonkey for work, GrubHub and Lyft for convenience, Facebook and Instagram for social media, and even Tinder and Bumble for online dating.
All together, digital product companies represent a $600 billion global market.
But these companies waste millions of dollars on applications and features that nobody really wants. In fact, some companies spend upwards of 44% of their entire annual budget on product updates for mobile applications and platforms.
Despite this significant investment, most companies have no idea what the impact of their updates will be until after they're finished.
In addition, many of these companies don’t receive feedback from actual users. Rather than talking to customers directly, software teams mostly gather feedback from passive observation, or from another department at the company such as the sales team or customer support team.
As a result, a lot of the information teams receive is inaccurate, unclear, and biased.
Parlay's platform solves these issues. It enables software teams to accurately determine the impact of potential new features before they spend considerable time and money on them.
With Parlay, users can collaborate with designers and developers of the products, control the direction of the products, and connect with other users to give feedback.
Companies, meanwhile, can prioritize development efforts, validate that features and ideas are effective and wanted, identify ideas that might not be worth producing, and increase user satisfaction by giving them a voice.
Here’s how it works:
Parlay enables companies to create what are called “feature previews.”
Essentially, these enable digital product teams to preview any new feature ideas directly inside of their live app. The features are set up exactly in the spot where the feature would exist on the app, and this can be done without having to write a single line of code.
Once the previews are embedded, a user who lands on a screen inside the product where an idea is being featured will receive a notification.
Users select the notification, which will open a “labs mode” view of the product. Here, users can review all of the prospective features, voice their opinions, and even suggest alternative ideas for features.
In addition, Parlay attempts to discover the reasons why a user feels the way they do about a particular feature.
To achieve this, if a user marks their opinion of a potential feature as “neutral,” Parlay immediately services an internal chatbot to inquire the specific reason why that rating was given.
For example, two users might rate the same feature as neutral, but one might do so because the feature isn’t relevant to them, whereas the other might not fully understand the idea. These are two very different reasons that can help companies get a better sense of what ideas are working for them.
Companies pay Parlay a $50 monthly subscription fee which includes unlimited feature previews across an unlimited number of apps. There’s also an annual subscription available that comes with a 10% discount.
Initially, Parlay is targeting the 1.8 million small- and mid-sized software companies, the 100,000 software development agencies, and the 20,000 software-as-a-service start-ups.
The company launched a beta version of its platform in April 2018 and has approximately 60 companies on board.
Out of more than 1,000 start-ups, Parlay was among the top 10 at the 2018 Collision Conference pitch competition.
Forbes called Collision "North America's fastest growing tech conference." Recent speakers at the conference include Brad Smith, President of Microsoft, and former Vice President Al Gore.
Parlay’s team has significant experience in the software industry, and has helped multiple companies achieve successful exits — for example:
CEO Keith Frankel was the former Head of Creative Design at HubSpot, a software company that went public. In addition, he was former Chief Product Officer of Firecracker, a mobile platform for medical training, which was acquired…
CTO Jason Zopf was a former senior engineer for Firecracker…
And Chief Design Officer Jonah Stuart was a former senior product designer at Smarterer, a job assistance platform that was acquired for $75 million.
Before starting Parlay, Jason served as a senior engineer with Firecracker. In addition, he was an experience engineer with Launch Academy, a web development boot camp.
Jason formerly served as a web developer for LaunchWare, a software development company.
He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Bates College and an MD from the University of Pennsylvania.
Prior to starting Parlay, Keith served as Chief Product Officer for Firecracker, a mobile platform that provides resources to medical students. While there, he helped launch two flagship products and increased year-over-year user growth by 60%. In 2018, Firecracker was acquired by Wolters Kluwer Health.
In addition, he formerly served as Head of Creative & Design for HubSpot, a marketing software company that went public in 2014.
For two years, Keith served in a production role at MTV, a television company.
He studied Philosophy at Yale University and earned his degree in Philosophy from Tufts University.
For more than three years, Jonah served as a senior product designer for Firecracker. During his time there, he was instrumental in developing the company’s Android and iOS mobile applications.
He formerly served as a product designer for several marketing companies, including Nightly, Zaius, and Robin Powered.
Jonah formerly served as Senior Product Designer for Smarterer, a company that helps job applicants research the skills prospective employers are looking for. In 2014, Smarterer was acquired for $75 million.
He spent two years as a graphic designer for Everlast Worldwide, a company producing fitness equipment.
Jonah earned a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Design from the Pratt Institute.