What CDNs are the Perfect Fit for Akamai


According to its 3rd Quarter 2014 financial results, Akamai had $1.6B in cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities. In other words, Akamai is flush with cash, and being the acquisition hungry company that it is, it’s certain to add some assets to its portfolio in 2015. At last count, there were about 46 CDNs in the ecosystem, and of those, two would be a nice fit. First a little history – the last CDN Akamai acquired was Cotendo, paying a handsome $268M back in December 2012, and making Ronni a rich man. Akamai’s hand was kind of forced, because Cotendo was practically giving away DSA back in those days, undercutting Akamai’s profitable DSA business. Disclosure: I’m not a Financial Analyst, and have a hard time adding, so please do not use this rant as intelligence for investment purposes. Thanks bro.  

Cotendo was in a unique position at that time in history, and it was one of the very few companies offering DSA besides Akamai. This type of acquisition won’t happen again, where Akamai is kind of forced to buy a CDN, because a “feature is threatening one of its profitable business lines”. Times are different now, and once a CDN has a unique feature, its only a matter of time before everyone offers it. Akamai is growing faster than all other CDNs, and the gap between them and the #2 continues to widen. Thus, Akamai is doing quite fine in the economics department.

With that being said, Limelight Networks and Saguna Networks would be a nice addition to Akamai. Saguna Networks is one of the very few start-ups that offer wireless last mile CDN in the RAN (Radio Access Network), whose products are geared toward Mobile Operators. Saguna would help Akamai expand its transparent caching play, in that it will be able to offer solutions to Mobile Operators, besides Network Operators. Plus, there is very little product overlap between its products and Akamai’s. The other CDN is Limelight Networks. Although LLNW has been even keel for the last few years, they are still one of larger CDNs from an infrastructure perspective. Plus, LLNW has a large base of premium customers, and one of the most experienced CDN staffs in the world. If Akamai and LLNW happen, the whole CDN Ecosystem changes dramatically for the better.

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