Nginx, the company behind the increasingly popular web server by the same name, today announced that it has raised a $10 million Series B round led by New Enterprise Associates. This round also includes full participation by the company’s existing investors, including Series A investors, e.ventures, Runa Capital, MSD Capital, as well as participation from Aaron Levie, CEO and founder of Box. Today’s announcement comes almost exactly two years after Nginx raised its $3 million Series A round.
As Nginx CEO Gus Robertson told me, the team plans to use this new funding to continue to invest in developing the open-source Nginx server by expanding its core engineering team in Moscow. At the same time, he plans to ramp up the company’s support offerings and increase its efforts in building tools for the company’s commercial customers. Robertson expects that the team will grow from 15 employees today to around 50 in 2014.
Since Nginx launched the commercial version of its server in August, the company has signed up over 100 paying customers who now get access to its Nginx Plus service, which offers advanced features like app health checks, monitoring, load balancing and other tools that are not part of the open-source version. These customers come from a wide variety of industries, including entertainment, e-commerce, education, travel and leisure. Many of them, Robertson stressed, use Nginx to power not just their websites but also their APIs.
While Nginx has a vibrant community around it, most of the hard-core development is actually done in-house. What the community has often offered, though, is support for installing and maintaining the server. Now that its commercial customers are asking to get this kind of support directly from the engineering team, the company has decided to use the new funding to build out this kind of support.
Currently, Nginx powers more of the world’s top 1,000 sites than Apache or Microsoft IIS and is getting close to also dominating the top 10,000, too. In total, more than 120 million websites are now running on Nginx and the number continues to increase rapidly.