Fueling the need for speed, Fastly raises $75 million

Speed. We all desire it, and none more so than those whose lifeblood depends on the Internet. Fastly raises big money to make page load times small.

named data networking testbed map
Credit: NDN Consortium

Fastly has a plan. And that plan revolves around unseating traditional content distribution network (CDN) vendors. For those unaware, CDNs are a critically important, but largely invisible (at least to end users), part of the infrastructure of the web. Quite simply, CDNs introduce locations close to consumption where content can be cached. What that means is that if you're in Timbuktu and trying to reach a website hosted in Outer Mongolia, rather than having to pull down all those pages all the way between the two points, you can leverage a CDN located near you to reduce page load times.

And in a word where empirical data has shown massive revenue gains from even tiny increments in page load speed, every microsecond counts. Enter Fastly, a CDN vendor founded in 2011 that has built a significant presence and already powers such web properties as Twitter, the Guardian, Gov.UK, GitHub and Pinterest. Funded by a bevy of top-tier investors, including Amplify Partners, August Capital, Battery Ventures, ICONIQ Capital, IDG Ventures, and O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, Fastly is today announcing another raise, this time $75 million by way of a Series D round.

The new funding, led by ICONIQ Capital with new contributions from existing investors, takes Fastly's total funds raised to date to a huge $130 million. Perhaps in a sign that an IPO is around the corner, Fastly is also announcing that Dan Miller, previously Vice President of Finance at publicly listed SaaS vendor Netsuite, is signing on as CFO.

Over the past couple of years, Fastly has seen the global traffic it distributes grow hugely, more than 700% to be precise. The company has 200 employees spread around the world and, more importantly, is rolling out further points of presence (POPs) including locations in Australia, India, Israel, South Africa, Spain, and the United Arab Emirates.

Fastly's value proposition is all about differentiating itself from traditional vendors by offering analytics derived from the traffic they pass, as well as being tuned as a cloud service. "Our customers face business challenges that cannot be solved by traditional content delivery networks," said Artur Bergman, CEO of Fastly. "We are building a better foundation for real-time content delivery across the globe."

Clearly, there is more reason than ever before to use a CDN service. Whether Fastly can grow to steal a significant share of the market remains to be seen.

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