What Startups Should Akamai Buy Next

Now with Prolexic acquisition behind them, Akamai is ready to embark on its next one. With $1B cash on the books, Akamai can afford to buy a few companies within a short period of time. Some acquisitions seem like no brainers, while others require more due diligence. Akamai is a leader in digital media services, working with hundreds of the largest media companies in the world, helping them store, secure and deliver video content to global audiences. However, most of the value add to the content is done in the cloud and edge. With the right acquisition, Akamai can go deeper into the customer location and become a part of their media workflow, helping studios, broadcasters and VOD platforms. Signiant is the ideal acquisition. They have a cutting edge high performance file transfer technology, and a top notch media customer base rivaled only by Aspera. If Akamai acquires Signiant, they become one of the very few companies that manages video file workflow from camera (in native format) to consumption, whether its B2B or B2C.

Security Acquisition

In addition, Akamai should expand its security portfolio. As of today, Akamai provides a robust security solution for the edge. With the right acquisition of a pure-play security start-up , Akamai can go deeper into the security stack and offer more layers of security, such as protecting customers from zero day attacks and advanced malware. A company like Fortscale seems like the ideal fit. Akamai will be able to offer customers a cloud based security platform that helps protect them against advanced persistent threats. Eventually, Akamai will need to make an acquisition that’s out of its comfort zone. An acquisition of Fortscale will open the flood gates to new opportunities.  Here is a list of companies for Akamai.

Ideal Acquisitions
  • Signiant generates about $15M to $25M per year. They are the 2nd largest high performance file transfer company behind Aspera. An acquisition allows Akamai to acquire cutting edge UDP file exchange technology, and an extensive media customer base of studios, broadcasters and post production houses.
  • Fortscale is an innovative cyber security company that has received funding from Intel. They have created a FireEye like platform that protects against advanced persistent threats (zero day vulnerabilities and advanced malware). Their platform incorporates machine learning algorithms and big data to make decisions in real time.  An acquisition enables Akamai to expand from edge security to data center/onsite security.
 Possible Targets
  • Aryaka Networks is a leader in WAAS and Private B2B CDN services. Besides their B2B infrastructure, they have developed a robust multi-TCP technology that enables global multi-site businesses to run their business applications on a private network, where branch office can exchange content.  However, an acquisition might be difficult, since the Aryaka team is set on going public.
  • Instart Logic offers the most innovative content delivery technology for the wireless last mile. They are able to detect the type of mobile device and browser edition, and stream applications efficiently for that particular device. Instart Logic uses VM, SDN and Big Data in its Software Defined Application Delivery service. An acquisition allows Akamai to gets its hands on unique patent patenting web app streaming technology for the wireless last mile, and decent customer base.
  • Imperva is a leading company in the data center security space. An acquisition would disrupt the security industry, and put Akamai in direct competition to established security companies like FireEye. However, with Imperva at a $700M market cap, this would be a billion dollar+ acquisition.