Quora announces first acquisition, Wael Ghonim’s Parlio

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Wael Ghonim during a TEDtalk in December 2015.

Q&A site Quora announced today their acquisition of Parlio, a discussions platform. The acquisition amount has not been disclosed.

The site was founded in 2014 in the US by Egyptian entrepreneur Wael Ghonim with $1.68 million in seed funding from Betaworks, Founder Collective, Marissa Mayer, Wesley Chan, and other angels.

Ghonim, was behind the famous Facebook page ‘We are All Khaleed Saeed’, which he had created in support of a man tortured to death by police, while using it to call for the Egyptian revolution of January 2011. This led him to create Parlio.

He was leading Google’s MENA marketing team in 2011 and known to have become very “secretive” after being arrested by the Egyptian police for a couple weeks. The incident has seen him revered as a hero of the revolutionary movement.

It was a platform aiming to host meaningful general discussions. Was, because Parlio’s website will not be completely functional anymore.

Users won’t be able to post any content, starting today, but all published content will remain, and some of it will be re-published on Quora in the coming months. Members can download their content for the next 30 days.

“We will be joining forces with Quora to grow knowledge and bring together people from different worlds,” the Parlio team said in a statement on their site. “This will give us a huge opportunity to continue our mission at a scale of over 100 million monthly unique visitors”.

Both startups have had a very similar objectives but Parlio has leaned more towards political, social discussions, working with experts and public figures.

The platform’s aim was also to avoid biased and offering readers all sides of a story to allow them to come up with their own conclusions. Recent popular discussions have been centered around race and free speech, the 2016 US elections, the refugee debate, and the relationship between Islam and terrorism.

“We've long admired Quora, as it's one of the few online communities that has managed to both focus on quality and successfully appeal to a wide audience (over 100 million monthly users). The community is meritocratic but inclusive, the content is informative but fun, and the product is powerful but beautifully simple. We couldn't have found a better fit,” said Ghanim in a post he published on Quora earlier today.

Parlio’s founding team will be joining Quora.

“We think Parlio has enabled great conversations with experts and fits well with our mission to share and grow the world’s knowledge,” said Adam D’Angelo Quora CEO said in a statement.

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