Fastly Growing Quickly Snags $40M As VCs Give Generously

Fastly, a fast-growing content delivery network, snagged $40M in Series C funding today. The round was led by August Capital with previous investors Battery Ventures, O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures and Amplify Partners also participating along with new investor IDG Ventures. The investment brings the total raised to date to $54M.

Company CEO and founder Artur Bergman says they set out to build a better content delivery network by concentrating on the types of traffic that meet modern content requirements such as API traffic, mobile content and user generated content. What’s more, Bergman says they do it blazingly fast claiming speed of 150MS (which is essentially instant), for example to purge a cache. He claims it can take minutes with competitors (although I was unable to confirm that).

As an example, one of their clients is The Guardian, the UK news company, which often needs to publish breaking news or update existing stories on the fly. This could involve taking down the old story, purging the cache so no trace of the old version exists and putting up the new one as quickly as possible to beat the competition. Bergman says that requires instant processing and he says that’s what his company offers.

Simply put, content delivery networks are networks of servers distributed throughout the world to reduce delivery latency and increase performance. The idea is to deliver the content as close as possible to the device on which it’s being viewed. The closer the content, the lower the latency and the faster it gets delivered.

Bergman says the chief competition in the CDN market is Akamai, but he believes his company has differentiated itself from the long-time market leader. “We believe in how we work with customers -to be transparent and open.” He added, “That’s a pretty noble concept in the CDN space, which has traditionally been a black box that does magic stuff for you.”

He says customers are used to having a certain level of transparency and visibility in their own data and his company wants to provide a similar level of visibility in Fastly.

The idea for the company was born when he was working at Wikia. “We come from a background of running large websites with lots of user-generated content,” he told me. He explained the content usually remained unchanged for a long time, but when it changed, it needed to be updated quickly, such as when a famous person died to enter their death date and refresh the page.

They built the product that became Fastly in-house at Wikia to deal with their own content delivery issues. It worked so well they decided to start a company.

With $40M in their pockets, Fastly has lots of room to expand. The company is currently employs around 100 people, up from 60 at the beginning of the year, and have their main offices in San Francisco with satellite offices in New York and London.

Bergman plans to hire more people and continue to grow their worldwide markets. He says they already have strong presence in Europe and the US, but hope to expand to other markets, particularly Asia and South America, but it’s a business that requires a lot of cash to build out data centers throughout the world.

He said one of the reasons the company caught the eye of the funders is because its growth trajectory has been going up steadily whether they are talking about employees, customers or traffic on the network.

Customers besides The Guardian include other high profile companies such as Twitter, Pinterest, and Shazam among others.

PHOTO CREDIT: (c) Can Stock Photo