It happens all the time: some new product comes out, or a very exclusive ticket goes on sale, so everyone rushes to the site at the exact same time and BOOM! The site goes down! Then everyone gets mad, the site gets embarrassed and everyone loses. To paraphrase every informercial ever: there's got to be a better way!
And that is where SOASTA enters the pictures. The company uses cloud servers to mimic traffic spikes so that the company can understand how its site will respond. And now the company has raised $30 million in Series E funding, the company announced Thursday.
The funding came from new investors Macquarie Capital and ROTH Capital, joined existing investors Canaan Partners, Formative Ventures and Pelion Venture Partners. Prior to this round the company had raised $12 million $12 million from The Entrepreneur's Fund. Earlier investors Canaan Partners, Formative Ventures, and Pelion Venture Partners. SOASTA's total funding now comes in at $63 million.
The funds will be used to expand globally with additional marketing, specifically in China, Japan and Australia.
"China is really beginning to move to e-commerce. They spent $215 billion last year," SOASTA CEO Tom Lounibos told me in an interview. "There are an amazing amount of people going online, especially during spring festival when everyone travels and the sites have performance related problems."
Lounibos also pointed to Brazil, which will be hosting the World Cup and Olympic games, along with India and Mexico, which both have "emerging middle classes" as potential markets as well.
The Mountain View-based SOASTA uses cloud servers to mimic traffic spikes so that the company can understand how its site will respond to said spikes.
For example, during the London Olympics, millions of tickets were sold to millions of people all around around the world. To help the site prepare for that traffic, SOASTA mimicked that amount of traffic in order to prepare them.
SOASTA is not the only company that does this, of course, with companies like Mercury Interactive, which was bought by Hewlett Packard in 2006, as its main competition. So what sets SOASTA apart?
Well, Lounibos says, they have the advantage of having been the first of its kind, as well as having "the largest cloud in the world" with 800,000 servers in 54 different locations.
In addition, he cites the company's analytics.
"The ability to run a test is one thing, but even more important is actual intelligence," he said. "We can break it down and tell what is causing a site to slow down."
For example, SOASTA can tell if a 10 second long flash video is limiting the number of users, and how many more the site would have if the video was cut down to eight seconds instead. It can even fix these problems while the test is running.
"It's all about finding the needle in the haystack that is causing the site to crash," he said.
The company, which was launched in 2008, has been growing its usersbase by 100% for the last five years. It now has 450 enterprise customers and over 20,000 freemium users. It counts customers 15 of top 25 retailers, in both traditional and e-commerce.
It has also been seeing its revenue go up by 100% as well, and Lounibos says that the company could go public in the next two to three years.
(Image source: http://www.soasta.com)