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50 Innovative Companies to Watch 2021

Giving Applications, Data, and Content the Speed that they Need and Centralized Cloud Can’t Deliver: StackPath

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“By our very nature, StackPath addresses our customers’ pain points—security, latency, and website performance being the key ones they face. Being at the edge and 2-4 hops closer to our customers’ customers than a normal hyperscaler makes it easy for us to address the needs.”

StackPath is an edge cloud platform, providing cloud services that are physically closer to end-users than core cloud providers’ services. The company’s edge computing services include virtual machines and containers and edge applications, including content delivery networks (CDN) and web application firewall (WAF), strategically located in the world’s most densely populated areas and united by a secure private network fabric and a single management system.

StackPath was founded in 2016 and is based in Dallas, TX.

Interview Excerpt: Christopher (Kip) Turco, CEO of StackPath

Rewind: How it All Started

In 2015, the days of dial-up were long gone. The cloud was growing rapidly, and people were becoming less tolerant of latency. StackPath founders, all of whom came from technology backgrounds, realized the closer to the end-users they could get, the better the experience would be, not only from a latency perspective but from a security one as well. StackPath was launched as the first secure edge platform. The company came out of stealth in 2016 having already acquired four companies – MaxCDN for its CDN, Fireblade for WAF, Staminus for DDoS protection, and Cloak for the virtual private network (VPN)—all the pieces to get content to customers as safely and quickly as possible. By 2018 it had acquired two additional companies – Highwinds, another CDN and SaaS monitoring service, Server Density.

Christopher (Kip) Turco is the CEO of the company. He has always been passionate about software and technology.

“Not only have I worked for several technology companies throughout my career, but during my time at West Point and in the Army, I recognized and appreciated that technology is very structure and process driven—it tackles processes and simplifies things for everyone. And that is what we are doing at StackPath.”

StackPath is an edge cloud computing and services provider with edge locations strategically placed in densely populated markets. The company has dozens of locations that each sit well inside their city limits, rather than in a handful of places out in the middle of nowhere in Iowa or eastern Washington State.

“By our very nature, StackPath addresses our customers’ pain points—security, latency, and website performance being the key ones they face. Being at the edge and 2-4 hops closer to our customers’ customers than a normal hyperscaler makes it easy for us to address the needs.”

“Applications, data, and content are closer to end-users and devices, providing a fast, secure, and seamless experience.”

Bringing Innovation to the Forefront

Any company, or person for that matter, with latency-sensitive workloads could benefit by using StackPath and they are seeing a new wave of prospects and customers that need to process high amounts of data or serve complex applications closer to end-users. Customers use StackPath for everything from live video streaming to monetizing their cloud edge presence to building their multi-cloud strategy in Latin America.

A number of these companies that rely on StackPath are gaming and media and entertainment companies. Network Next is a gaming company that realized that the internet was not created for gaming – it is optimized to deliver static and streaming content, not interactive, real-time applications like multiplayer games or video chats requiring high performance and the lowest latency possible. They wanted to fix that. Since private networks have an excess capacity that can be used to boost in-game network performance, they partner with network builders and cloud service providers like StackPath then broker network access based on quality, performance, and cost.

“With our edge computing technology, Network Next can boost their games’ network performance while remaining cost-efficient. With StackPath, they create a better internet for their customers.”

COVID-19: From Surviving to Thriving

The outbreak of COVID-19 has drastically altered life and as a result, many businesses had to change their models. Many have had to change their hours of operation, take a pause, or shut down for good. Fortunately, as a platform provider to many of the top gaming and media, and entertainment companies, StackPath didn’t face a lack of customers but an influx in traffic and demands for services. People have been online more than ever, streaming content, connecting with friends and families, working, and gaming. It’s what the world has had to connect this past year. StackPath has been able to meet the demands, and business has been better than ever—a positive in a year that hasn’t been overly positive.

From the workplace perspective, as with every company, StackPath too was forced to close its physical offices and transition to working from home. This roadblock required them to alter the way they work together as a company.

“I think any CEO would tell you that the pandemic has created roadblocks for their company, both from a business standpoint and a workplace environment standpoint.”

“I am proud of the way StackPath has adapted our collaboration. While we miss the breakroom and in-person planning sessions, the pandemic has made us better. We are more streamlined, effective, and creative than ever before.”

Overview: Product Launches

StackPath will be releasing the all-new EdgePods solution aimed at service providers and enterprises, for whom an on-premise edge platform can provide extremely low latency computing. EdgePods will deliver a cloud-agnostic edge platform designed for any application necessary, from artificial intelligence (AI)  to machine learning (ML) to content delivery and WAF security services.

“Our EdgePods product is more flexible than others in the market because it comes with a variety of partnership and monetization models, particularly for service providers who can leverage our product to power edge services for their customers. Unlike other providers in this space, we’ll also be providing CDN and security products as a part of our EdgePods, furthering our value to the service provider community.”

Future Arrangements

“We know that to be successful in the future, we must keep innovating and staying ahead of user marketplace trends such as IoT, 5G, and AI. As we have always done, we will stay agile and flexible and continue to adapt and transform, to continue innovating. Our current major endeavor is launching EdgePods, but in six months it will be something else. We pride ourselves on continuously innovating. That’s what we do.”

The Leader Upfront

Christopher (Kip) Turco serves as the CEO of StackPath. He leads the company-wide execution with insight and leadership experience from a number of technology companies including Masergy, Motricity, Telx, Hosted Solutions, Windstream, and EMC.

He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point.

“EdgePods will deliver a cloud-agnostic edge platform designed for any application necessary, from artificial itelligence to machine learning, all the way through content delivery and WAF security services.”