IRI was founded as Information Resources, Inc. of New York in May 1978. The company established its technical foundation in the migration of coroutine sort (CoSort) technology from the Burroughs 6500 mainframe onto personal and mini computers.
Funding for the development of CoSort software came from related (and unrelated) consulting work the founders performed for clients in the financial services industry. IRI would later be funded entirely by CoSort sales for many years. IRI has always been profitable, and without external capitalization. This self-funding strategy allows the company to direct its technologies and offer better pricing.
As an interesting aside, IRI founder Paul Friedland first named the product CO-SORT. That sounded too much like CA-SORT to Computer Associates, so Paul agreed with Charles Wang to drop the hyphen. COSORT later became CoSORT in the 1990s (with an elevated 'o' in the logo), and then CoSort by the mid 2000's.