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Cloud computing firm Paragrid Inc. in Independence acquired

By: Chuck Soder

Paragrid Inc., a small but fast-growing business in Independence, has been acquired by another cloud computing company, Evolve IP of Wayne, Pa.

All Paragrid employees will keep their jobs; among them is president Ryan Berg, who will lead sales and operations for the local office. The company employs 20 people, while Evolve IP has about 100 employees.

Paragrid’s office should continue adding staff, according to Guy Fardone, chief operating officer and general manager at Evolve IP. The office is tasked with growing Evolve IP’s business in and around Ohio, which is where most of Paragrid’s customers are based.

“The No. 1 thing is continued growth in the Ohio market,” Mr. Fardone said.

Both companies help other businesses avoid buying their own computer hardware. Instead, their customers use the Internet to tap into equipment housed somewhere else.

The acquisition will give Paragrid customers access to new services, such as digital phone and contact center services offered by Evolve IP. Meanwhile, the deal gives Evolve IP “new enterprise customers, consulting services and world-class data centers to support our Midwest market,” according to a news release from the company.

Paragrid began talking to Evolve IP while “looking at growth opportunities,” Mr. Berg said. Paragrid also talked to other potential acquirers, but Evolve IP stood out because it wanted to retain all of Paragrid’s employees, Mr. Berg said. By contrast, a few of Paragrid’s suitors just wanted to buy its customer base, he said.

“That was the biggest thing, to make sure that everyone stuck together,” he said.

Paragrid had $2.8 million in sales in 2012, up from $1.3 million in 2009, according to data the company submitted to Inc. magazine for its 2013 Inc. 5000 list. Evolve IP had $24.1 million in sales in 2012, up from $5.7 million in 2009, according to data from that list. Both companies were founded in 2008.

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