As the web matures, it's also getting more complex. Yet much of it is still fundamentally based on things like HTML which are 30 years old. A new startup, FasterWeb, aims to bring these old technologies up to speed - as it were - making the web faster, by optimizing the old standards for doing new things. And in doing so, it claims that it can increase the performance of any site by 2 to 10 times - something which would obviously be a huge leap forward, if it can deliver.
One VC firm, YL Ventures, believes that it can. And they've seen it in action, so we'll just have to take their word for it, for now. We spoke with Yoav Andrew Leitersdorf, managing parter at YL, and he tells us that the different between the regular web versus a site optimized with FasterWeb, is pretty staggering. And that's why his firm had no hesitation in pouring an undisclosed amount of money into the Israel-based venture.
So how does FasterWeb claim to work? Leitersdorf wouldn't go into the details, saying that's the company's secret, but he would say that it uses 45 different techniques to optimize the web. He also said that this is done either on the end of the content provider or the ISP. In other words, the end user doesn't have to do a thing to experience the increase in web speed. And FasterWeb will work across all the major web browsers, starting with Internet Explorer and Firefox immediately, and expanding to the rest, including Opera, Chrome and Safari, when it's ready for its widespread release next year.
But some sites won't have to wait until next year to get the speed boost. Over the next several weeks, the first sites optimized with FasterWeb will begin hitting our browsers, Leitersdorf says. He would not say which ones, but notes that some will be known entities in the U.S. and worldwide.
And all of this will work for the mobile web too. “That's one of the biggest opportunities here,” Leitersdorf says. He went on to note that they're thinking a lot about mobile ISPs in particular.
The business model for the project seems sound as well. FasterWeb has a multi-pronged approach depending on the situation of the website or ISP. That means it can either charge a one-time fee, or do a revenue sharing model. “What we found out as a VC fund going into this business is that by selling this to websites, it's going to increase their revenues. And these sites are willing to spend 20-30% of their increase in revenues on our solution,” Leitersdorf says.
He also notes that in their research, YL only found two companies even come close to doing what these guys are doing. But Leitersdorf declined to name them. Seeing as this is all on the backend, and requires nothing from the consumers, it seems safe to assume this will be significantly better than something like the Google Web Accelerator toolbar.
Naturally, all of this sounds great, but it will be another thing to deliver on a massive scale across much of the web. “We've talked to the customers, they're excited. But FasterWeb wants to make sure they're ready,” according to Leitersdorf. And that's why we won't see wide-scale deployment until next year.
The Israel-based FasterWeb was started by Ofer Gadish, Gil Shai, Ofir Ehrlich and Leonid Fainberg.