Investment continues to pour into the content delivery network (CDN) business. Today Highwinds announced that it has raised $55 million in equity financing from General Catalyst Partners and Alta Communications. The funding will be used to invest in the infrastructure build-out of Highwinds' RollingThunder content delivery network. Highwinds also rolled out a partnership with Digital Rapids Corporation and Knack Networks to create advanced IPTV solutions for professional media companies.
The funding could have benefits for Highwinds' data center providers. Highwinds has leased space in data centers in 16 cities to power RollingThunder, with U.S. locations including Ashburn, Va., Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Phoenix, and European sites in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London and Paris. That data center map closely tracks the network of Equinix (EQIX), which is listed as one of Highwinds' technology partners. Highwinds has also leased colocation space in Global Crossing facilities in Atlanta (56 Marietta Street) and Phoenix.
Highwinds is based in Winter Park, Fla. with a network operations center in Phoenix. It was founded in 2002 with a focus on content replication and delivery software and services, but in the last year has shifted its focus to the CDN market and beefed up its data center infrastructure. Its data center facilities are connected by a 10 Gbps dedicated backbone, and provide direct peering connections to over 700 service provider networks globally. Highwinds says it is the "first top-tier CDN to embrace a channel-centric sales model,' relying upon partners to resell its CDN services.
"Having attracted top-tier investors, we can accelerate our ability to meet the rapidly growing demand for innovation in the market for IP services and delivery of rich media content," said Steve Miller, Highwinds' President and Chief Executive Officer. "We are well-capitalized to bring an unparalleled infrastructure solution to market for service providers, corporations, content owners and other organizations implementing IP services."
"Highwinds has already proven its mettle - with a years-long track record of success marked by solid revenue growth and profitability," said Neil Sequeira, a Partner at General Catalyst Partners. "We are excited to provide the capital infusion that will enable them to advance to the next level with their content delivery solutions and other RollingThunder network-based services."
The partnership with Digital Rapids and Knack will support the launch of the RollingThunder network.
"Leveraging Digital Rapids and Highwinds technologies, we have engineered a future ready network specifically designed for distribution of live television and high resolution media," said Stuart Ross, chairman of Knack Networks. "Our platform can meet the most rigorous transport and distribution requirements that professional media companies have for both broadcast and broadband standards."