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Mission

Give businesses complete control over how they serve content, unprecedented access to real-time performance analytics, and the ability to cache frequently changing content at the edge

History

The adage among technology commentators is that “software is eating the world”. This is truer than anywhere else in the content delivery field. Online methods of delivering media content such as audio, video, software and games have bypassed physical distribution methods such as compact disks. While networked, online content delivery has nothing short of revolutionized the music, film and television industries, delivery networks have faced challenges in the areas of speed, efficiency and reliability.

Founded by Artur Bergman in 2011, Fastly, as the name suggests, is a next-generation content distribution network that stores content on solid state hard drives and delivers content over 10-gigabit Ethernet. Prior to founding Fastly, Bergman managed LiveJournal’s engineering team, worked as an operations architect at Six Apart, and was CTO at Wikia.

While at Wikia, Bergman faced difficulties with the content delivery network the company was using. It was this frustration that led Bergman to leave Wikia and solve the problem of speed in content delivery. Wikia would later become one of Fastly’s customers, along with other big names such as Disqus, Kickstarter, Pinterest, GitHub and Twitter.

From the beginning Fastly did things its own way, using solid state hard drives, using cheaper equipment built from commodity hardware and using multiple data centres. Fastly started by focusing on niche areas such as delivery of smaller content and pictures. In October 2013, Fastly announced that it was moving into the video streaming business. The new service would adjust bitrates every one second instead of ten seconds, allowing content to start playing in ten seconds or less.

Bergman also announced the firm’s intention to move from 10 gigabit ports to 40 GigE. In 2014, Fastly and Ethernet switch firm, Arista Networks, teamed up to create low latency switches for Fastly’s servers. As of 2014, Fastly had successfully dominated the market for small content streaming. It had a content delivery network in 18 co-location servers around the world, with eight of them located in the United States.

To date, Fastly has attracted $129 million in funding from eight investors over five rounds. Its funding rounds were led by Battery Ventures and Oreilly AlphaTech Ventures in 2012. Subsequent rounds in 2013 and 2014 were led by August Capital. Its most recent round in 2015 was led by Iconiq Capital.

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