Yottaa, the Boston-based startup that offers cloud-based web performance monitoring and optimization services for small businesses, is today announcing that it has closed a $9 million series B financing round. Each of the startup’s existing investors, including General Catalyst Partners, Stata Venture Partners and Cambridge West Ventures, re-upped for Yottaa’s series B, joined by additional undisclosed investors.
Yottaa’s new round brings its total funding to $13 million and will be primarily allocated towards product development and increasing the rapidity of its product release cycle, as Yottaa gears up to add further features and components to its suite of services that aim to optimize, protect, and monotor websites and critical web apps for organizations of all stripes, but particularly the little guys — startups and SMBs.
Certainly, this is no easy task, especially considering that Yottaa is now straddling two continents, with the majority of its near-50 employees based in China while its headquarters are to be found in Boston. Yet, in spite of this — and in spite of the rising star that is the popular and well-funded Cloudflare (nominally, a Yottaa competitor) — the startup has been growing fast.
Led by Coach Wei, the former Chairman of Nexaweb, Yottaa has attracted over 80K businesses, thanks to its affordable software that allows businesses of all sizes to accelerate their websites and critical web apps. What’s more, over the last six months, Yottaa’s Site Speed Optimizer has grown to serve over 100 million unique visitors per month, and, as of last month, five percent of web users have visited sites accelerated by the Yottaa network.
Back in February, the startup announced its Content Delivery Network (CDN) service, which leverages the startup’s patented cloud-routing technology and global infrastructure to automate realtime, front-end optimization for the websites of startups and small businesses.
And speaking of that, adding to its value proposition and giving it a more defensible position in an attractive and growing market, Yottaa has been granted two patents, one being the aforementioned cloud routing technology, with a second granted in web performance and front-end optimization. What’s more, the startup has another eight patents pending approval.
Two months ago, Yottaa added some impressive talent (and experience) to its team, including the addition of former Yahoo CTO Raymie Stata to its board of directors. At Yahoo, Stata helped develop the company’s technology strategy and drive key projects like Hadoop. Prior to joining Yahoo, the CTO founded Stata Labs, which developed content management technology relating to email, leading the company until it was acquired by Yahoo. Along with Stata, the startup also hired Morris Porter as VP of Sales and Business Development, who formerly led sales operations for Citrix Online and served as VP of sales at Intranets.com, which he helped transform into a $600 million business unit within Cisco Systems.
On top of all this, Yottaa has been continuing with what its CEO describes as an aggressive product release cycle, turning its attention to the mobile web, launching a solution that allows users to bring a speed boost to their mobile web sites. Combining its patented front-end optimization service with a global content delivery network (CDN), the mobile acceleration software aims to address the mobile performance bottlenecks that have become endemic to the delivery and execution of the code that drives mobile applications, solving these challenges in an automated fashion.
The startup’s mobile performance solution was developed in partnership with another Boston-based startup, MocoSpace, a social gaming platform that today boasts over 25 million registered users. With MocoSpace in tow, the solution has been developed to help ensure that MocoSpace and other mobile companies can offer a great users experience in both mobile apps and HTML5 games on increasingly speedy mobile devices and networks.
With its growing suite of optimization and performance solutions for websites and web apps, one could see Yottaa as increasingly looking like a small-business-oriented version of Akamai. Either way, there is plenty of talent and competition in the space, but Wei thinks that the scope of the problem is huge and is only getting bigger thanks to the skyrocketing adoption of the mobile web. One could build a big company just by focusing on a particular link in the chain, he says, like mobile.
It’s taken Yottaa a long time to get to a place where the team (and Wei) feel like they’ve developed a steady foundation on which to work. But Wei says that he believes the team has arrived and, instead of taking the lean startup, fast iteration approach to product development, the team is focusing on solving these thorny optimization issues with a bigger team that will focus on rolling out bigger products every three months or so. It may be an alternative approach given the popularity of the lean startup dynamic in Silicon Valley, but with one foot in China already, a handful of patents pending, and more products on the way, Yottaa may very well be following Cloudflare to a lofty valuation.
For more, find Yottaa at home here.