Instart Logic, armed with $43M in VC funding is on a collision course with Akamai in three areas: eCommerce, dynamic content acceleration and mobile content delivery. Overall, Akamai is at war with fifteen US based CDNs, and a host of others in Europe and APAC. But that’s what happens when one CDN is on a run rate to hit $1.9B in annual revenue, and #2 public based CDN is on a run rate to hit $155M. Every CDN is gunning for Akamai, some more than others. What’s different this time than in the years past, Akamai is battling a new breed of CDNs, the CDN Specialist. These type of CDNs are focused in one or two key areas of the overall CDN feature set.
The Specialist invest 100% of their resources in being the best in a limited area of functionality. That makes total sense, because if a CDN can’t excel in being the best in 1 or 2 areas, than how can they be good in the entire CDN feature set. Instart Logic, although it doesn’t consider itself a CDN, is a CDN like company that is aiming for Akamai’s premium customer base. Instart Logic has earned a few solid wins, and is gaining a lot of traction in the marketplace; but pragmatically, it still has about 2-3 more years to go, in order to prove its business model is sustainable. Nothing is easy is the CDN business. CDNs have to go at it hard, day and night, for at least five years, to reach success. In the big accounts, like those billing $10k/monthly or more, it’s going to be a slug-fest with Akamai.
The one key area that Akamai excels in is its sales force. The Akamai sales force is a veteran team that has years of experience duking it out with dozens of CDNs. They know all the ins/outs of the CDN business, from the entire feature set, to pricing, competition weaknesses, and so on. Instart Logic understand this, and by the looks of it, they are starting to hire Akamai / ex-Akamai talent. Will Instart Logic win every battle againt Akamai? Of course not, but if they can win 1 in 12, they are doing good. Congrats to Instart Logic team on the new round. We’ll revisit this competition in a few months.