How one startup team has created five successful exits

It is an origin story that has been told numerous times: a group of computer nerds meets in college and goes on to build a software startup, eventually selling their company. But this is a story with a twist: four of the team members met more than 20 years ago when they were undergrad engineers at Carnegie Mellon University. Together with a fifth team member they would go on to have five different and successful exits at various tech startups.

The team includes Peter Pezaris (CEO and developer), David Hersh (product manager), James Price (devops), Michael Gersh (marketing/analytics) and latecomer Claudio Pinkus (who joined the others 13 years ago).

Their projects included:

  • Codestream, a devops collaboration platform which was founded in 2017. Earlier this summer, NewRelic announced they were acquiring the company this week.
  •, a team collaboration platform acquired by RingCentral in 2015.
  •, a social commerce platform acquired by Naspers in 2010.
  •, one of the first online fantasy sports platforms, which was acquired by CBS/Sportsline, and
  •, acquired by IAC in 2005.

I wrote a story about the team — Hersh is married to my wife’s cousin — and hopefully can link to it here eventually. What is notable about Codestream is how they took an open source offering and parlayed this into a commercial success. Sure there are other stories about how major software vendors such as IBM, Oracle and others have acquired open source companies. This is just one that i knew about personally.

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