Who’s Selling Parlano?

Microsoft yesterday announced that it is acquiring Parlano Inc., a Chicago-based maker of the MindAlign enterprise group chat application. Seems like a typical tech M&A deal, but Parlano has an unusual funding history.

The company was originally formed back in 2003, when Golden Gate Capital and Oak Investment Partners acquired the collaboration assets of Divine Inc. Yes, take a moment to realize that something good came of Divine. Ok, are we back? Good.

What’s unusual is that Golden Gate is no longer listed as a Parlano shareholder. Instead, the company’s website identifies Oak and Longworth Venture Partners. Paul Margolis of Longworth explains that Longworth actually bought out Golden Gate back in October 2004, and later participated in a follow-on round for Parlano in 2006.

When else have you heard of a relatively small VC firms acquiring a portfolio company position from a large buyout firm? Not often…