Toronto-based startup Parallelz has raised $3.8 million CAD ($3 million USD) in all-equity pre-seed funding led by Maple VC general partner Andre Charoo.
Global Founders Capital, Play Ventures, Garage Capital, and Two Small Fish Ventures also participated in what Parallelz described as an oversubscribed round.
“The traditional app store has unnecessarily created friction by forcing users to download and install apps.”
– Alexander McIsaac
The round also included a group of notable individual investors, such as former Uber vice president Ed Baker, Andreessen Horowitz general partner Jon Lai, Golden founder and CEO Jude Gomelia, Com2Us president Kyu Lee, Product Hunt founder Ryan Hoover, and Shopify vice president of engineering Farhan Thawar.
A spokesperson for Parallelz told BetaKit that many of the investors that participated are people that the company’s team has known for years.
Founded in 2021 by serial entrepreneur Albert Lai, Parallelz is building a platform that instantly transforms native mobile apps into native web apps, without compromising visual quality or user experience.
All that is needed to share an app is a URL that app developers can cut and paste. From there, the end user can click on the URL and play instantaneously. Parallelz said this system enables developers to distribute applications independently from app stores, while allowing users to modify, extend or personalize applications with no coding. The startup claims that by using its platform, developers won’t have to pay a 30 percent tax to Apple or Google for app store fees.
“The traditional app store has unnecessarily created friction by forcing users to download and install apps,” said Global Founders Capital Partner Alexander McIsaac. “Parallelz eliminates the hassle by unlocking limitless opportunities to drive growth that did not exist previously. Soon, sharing a mobile app will be as easy as sharing a meme.”
Parallelz was spun out of instant games company Big Viking Games, which Lai founded in 2011. Lai’s other startups include Kontagent, BubbleShare (sold to Kaboose), IdleAgent, BuyBuddy, and MyDesktop Networks.
Currently working with partners under beta, Parallelz platform has yet to launch publicly.
“Now that we have can native mobile apps at just a URL we think that this is going to radically change the cost of failure for trying new apps,” said the company spokesperson.
Featured image from Rami Al-zayat via Unsplash.