Founded late 2015 by Lance Crosby, the former owner/founder of hosting provider SoftLayer – a company that was acquired by IBM for $2B, CDN platform provider StackPath has acquired its way to $200 million in revenues in just a few years time. At the IBC event in Amsterdam, a large media, entertainment & technology show with 50,000+ visitors attending, HostingJournalist.com spoke to StackPath’s Vice President of Marketing Jay Moore about their acquisition focused strategy and CDN market trends.
Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, StackPath employs close to 300 people. Until now, StackPath has acquired six companies including MaxCDN, Highwinds, Fireblade, and Server Density. The acquisition spree that helped StackPath vault to its scale so fast would be over for now. The company has consolidated these different brands this year and incorporated their products into a new CDN platform.
What is the idea behind this acquisition-focused strategy?
“When starting StackPath in 2015, our founder Lance Crosby knew that he wanted to achieve a lot in a short period of time, so he would need to do things quickly. The acquisitions of the two CDNs, MaxCDN first and then Highwinds gave us incredible scale and capabilities in content delivery, as well as a very big network; heavily peered, a truly global network with a lot of capacity to build upon. The acquisition of Fireblade gave us WAF capabilities and an incredible team of engineers in the security space. And more recently we picked up a company that’s called Server Density, in London. This gave us London presence as well as a lot of monitoring capabilities.”
What about organic growth?
“Our growth is phenomenal. Some of our Fortune 100 customers are doubling traffic in one or two quarters at a time. The capacity of our global network has gone up from 10 or 11 Terabits per second to over 40 Terabits per second recently, and we’re now growing even faster. So, we’re growing really fast, both organically and through new customer acquisitions but also due to new services being delivered.”
We’re here at IBC in Amsterdam. What trends do you see when it comes to CDN requirements being set by the media & entertainment industry?
“A lot of it is about capacity. We used to think about Internet video as just a sidebar conversation, but by 2020 the numbers say that more people will watch video and television via the Internet than through traditional broadcast. That means incredible scale with implications for the network. It is also about security, and not only about protecting the content but also about the origin and infrastructure that supports the delivery of that video. We see that the real frontier to make this all happen is at the edge. So not back in the data center, not in a traditional cloud, no, the media and entertainment industry needs more capabilities at the edge – to make decisions at that point, to do operations that are closer to the end user, providing better performance at better cost and a lot more specific programs you can run with video content.”
How important is ‘the edge’ for StackPath’s go-to-market strategy?
“We are building all of our capabilities at the edge. That is core to our go-to-market strategy and our network Points-of-Presence. We are always making sure that all functionality is available at every Point-of-Presence. That is really unique in the market. As we are adding new services to our CDN platform, we always make sure that we serve customers who have single needs as well as those with multiple needs. We want to enable customers to build an entire new business on our platform. We really want to give companies the autonomy to build brand new projects from the ground up or bring existing projects to new heights. Providing those CDN capabilities at the edge means that our customers are enabled to achieve things that they haven’t thought of yet.”
What makes StackPath different from other CDN players out there, for example CloudFlare?
“I think CloudFlare has a different business model, servicing freemium, lower end customers, but they’ve also built a subset of the capabilities that we are building. The key difference is that StackPath is providing a platform, not just a service. It is a platform where you can build brand new products on. That’s really a big difference.”
Last month, StackPath celebrated 1-year existence of its startup program, named Propel. Why this focus on startups?
“StackPath focuses on the startup community for a couple of reasons. We know that woever is building the next great product or service is probably a startup. The Fortune 100 companies are disappearing off the map and being replaced by companies that are two or five years old. That’s going to continue to happen, at a fast rate of change.”
What exactly is StackPath offering through its startup program?
“In addition to a year of free services and the ability to experiment with our products, it also gives startups access to our executives, to our expertise and the relationships we build, and even helping them to secure more funding. It also provides them with marketing capabilities, while we’re able to build more technology into their platforms.”
A few months ago, StackPath also launched a sales partner program. How important are channel partners and startups for StackPath’s business model?
“While we have entire sales and marketing teams focusing on enterprises, as well as easy onboarding for small and midsized businesses, we have other teams focusing on channel partners and the startup community. The startups, that’s were we think that the next big companies will arise. While we’re giving away services and support today, the hope is always that those companies will grow and be happy to further build their business on our CDN platform, with revenues coming down the line as well.”