Instart Logic & Incapsula are two super cool CDN startups. They have a lot of potential. Instart Logic is the candidate that is most likely to be acquired in the short term, earning good returns for its employees, and backers. Incapsula, has the potential to be the most valuable CDN in the market, after Akamai, if it plays it’s cards right. Comparisons are a good thing, it provides us with a better picture and deeper understanding of the content delivery ecosystem.
Instart Logic hit it out of the park from day one. It’s overall “story” and value proposition is dead on perfect. It’s different, unique, and appealing. Being different is a good thing in the CDN industry, because it helps differentiate itself from the CDN stories that all sound the same. Instart Logic does Web Application Streaming, Image Streaming, HTML Streaming, & Flash Streaming with a “designed by thinking mobile first”. In other words, it does what other CDNs do, but they call it by a different name, and focus on mobile. This is what you need to do in this market. If I were them, I would create more buzz around “Wireless Last Mile Content Acceleration” piece or something to that effect. That delivers a message to potential customers that they are focused on the delivery of content to mobile devices. My prediction, they will get acquired faster than all other startup CDNs.
Incapsula, the cool startup that spun off from Imperva, is trying to find its way. For those that don’t know Imperva, it is in the upper echelons of the security world just like Whitehat Security and Dell SecureWorks. Incapsula’s website content reminds me of CloudFlare. I get the feeling that Incapsula is trying to follow in the footsteps of CloudFlare. If they are, my question is why? Incapsula has more potential than CloudFlare and its $70M+ in funding.
There is only room for 2 CloudFlare’s in this industry, that is CloudFlare and Amazon CloudFront. CloudFlare’s biggest competitor is Amazon, not Akamai, EdgeCast or Limelight. CloudFlare and CloudFront are all about quantity. Akamai and EdgeCast are all about quality of service. They are selective as to who their customers are, because they want to give them the best quality of service possible, and highest personal touch. CloudFlare is on a different business model from the typical CDN. Nothing wrong with that.
Why does Incapsula have big potential? Because it spun off from Imperva. Companies in the security space have the most potential of reaching astronomical valuations. Just think of Palo Alto, Fortinet, Fireye, and Barracuda. The one thing they have in common, billion dollar valuations with only a few hundred million in revenue. Thus, Incapsula can exceed the valuation of CloudFlare, Yottaa, Fastly, & Instart Logic combined. In fact, I think Incapsula can grow bigger than Imperva.
Incapsula goes deep into security world, it’s in the blood. They can do WAF and DDOS easily, with their eyes closed, just like other CDNs. However, they can go much deeper into the security realm offering services that not even Akamai can’t. Just think of a hybrid Security CDN along the lines of EdgeCast-Fireye-Palo Alto.
However, it’s going to need a new business model that doesn’t exist today. There are probably only a handful of experts around the world that can pull this off. Give me a few weeks and I’ll come up with some crazy ideas.