Join Leading Business Figures in Establishing Akamai Technologies, Inc. More Than $8-Million InitialCAMBRIDGE, MA, Jan. 14, 1999 -- A leading group of MIT scientists and business professionals announced today the establishment of Akamai Technologies, Inc., a company that has deployed the world's largest fault-tolerant network for distributing web content. The company's network is used to speed up the delivery of richer web pages, and allows content providers with large audiences to serve them reliably and economically from servers located close to end users. Akamai's proprietary network is based on patent-pending technology developed during three years of research at MIT's famed Laboratory for Computer Science. Professor of Applied Mathematics Frank Thomson Leighton, now the company's Chief Scientist, led the research team along with graduate student Daniel Lewin, Akamai's Chief Technology Officer. The company's first service offering - FreeFlowSM - uses this technology to shift the burdensome aspects of web content distribution from a content provider to Akamai's global network of host servers.
"Our technology is revolutionary in terms of its ability to distribute and manage content over a large network without disrupting the content provider's direct relationship with the end user," said Dr. Leighton. "Akamai's FreeFlow content distribution service is designed to be fault-tolerant and highly-responsive to our clients' needs. It promises to be a boon for a wide variety of Internet entertainment and information providers as well as many e-commerce and on-line trading businesses."
Akamai is currently beta-testing FreeFlow in partnership with some of the largest sites on the Internet, including five of the world's most-visited websites. The company's beta-test began this month with a deployment of hundreds of proprietary content distribution servers.
In addition to significantly improving website performance by moving content closer to the end user, FreeFlow has distinct advantages over traditional content distribution systems. For example, Akamai's global deployment of hundreds of servers provides protection against "flash" crowds that can overwhelm a website's ability to serve all requests quickly and efficiently. Notably, FreeFlow is compatible with any web server or site design, including database-driven and e-commerce applications.
Akamai received more than $8-million in initial financing from Battery Ventures, a leading high tech venture capital firm based in Wellesley, Mass., and Polaris Venture Partners, a Boston- and Seattle-based, early-stage technology venture capital firm. Battery Ventures contributed to the formation of Akamai, working with its founders while they were based at MIT. Private investors also contributed to the company's first round financing.
Akamai's Board of Directors includes:
Todd Dagres, General Partner at Battery Ventures.
George Conrades, a Venture Partner at Polaris Venture Partners, and until last year, GTE Executive Vice President and President, GTE Internetworking, following the acquisition by GTE of BBN, a leading Internet Services Provider, where Mr. Conrades was Chairman and CEO. He was previously an IBM Senior Vice President and member of IBM's Corporate Management Board.
Arthur Bilger, a private investor, former President and COO of New World Communications Group Inc., and the former Founding Principal of Apollo Advisors, L.P.
"In an era of convergence between the fields of the Internet, media and electronic commerce, Akamai will be the first company to break the bottleneck created by today's limited web content distribution technologies," said Mr. Dagres. "Akamai has the requisite combination of people, technology, financial backing and first mover advantage to be the category leader in web content distribution."
According to Mr. Conrades, "Akamai dramatically improves the usefulness of the Internet by expanding the richness of content that can be delivered to users while solving the performance and control issues facing content providers. It's a win-win for everyone."
In addition to Dr. Leighton and Mr. Lewin, Jonathan Seelig and Randall Kaplan are also founders of Akamai. Mr. Seelig, now a company Vice President, studied at MIT's Sloan School of Management and previously worked at Israel-based ECI Telecom. Randall Kaplan, until recently a Managing Director at SunAmerica, serves as Akamai's Vice President of Business Development and manages the company's Los Angeles office.
Akamai's team includes several of the world's preeminent authorities on algorithms for network applications. Dr. Leighton is a renowned expert on parallel algorithms and architecture and has served as Head of the Algorithms Group at MIT's Laboratory for Computer Science since its inception in 1996. Dr. Bruce Maggs, a Senior Research Scientist at Akamai, is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University and a renowned expert on network architecture. Dr. David Karger, also a Senior Research Scientist at Akamai, is an MIT Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Akamai Technologies is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts and has offices in San Mateo and Cupertino, California, and Europe. Akamai is the leader in distributed content, streaming media, and applications delivery, serving over 225 of the Web's most popular properties including over 100 leading e-commerce companies. Akamai has deployed the broadest global network for content, streaming media, and applications delivery with more than 2000 servers in over 40 countries directly connected to more than 100 different telecommunications networks. Akamai (pronounced AH kuh my) is Hawaiian for intelligent, clever and cool.