Ajit Gupta is one of the world experts in the domain of networking, in general, and content acceleration, in particular. Prior to Aryaka, which he founded in 2008, he founded Speedera in 1999, and eventually sold it to Akamai for half a billion dollars. Here, Ajit and I discuss the future of the public and private internet.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start with introducing our audience to you. Tell us a little bit about your background and also, tell us about Aryaka.
Ajit Gupta: I’m the CEO and Founder of Aryaka Networks. Aryaka is a company based in the optimization space. You can think of us as an intelligent network for the enterprise. Essentially, we bring geographically-dispersed companies together. We make the headquarters talk better with the branch offices in much faster and simpler ways. This is all done in the, so-called, cloud. We have points of presence around the world. Enterprises connect to these locations and then the magic happens within our data centers.
Using our technology and servers, customers experience higher levels of productivity at a much better user experience. The genesis of Aryaka actually lies in my previous company Speedera Networks that was started in 1999. We accelerated outside consumer-facing content. It was part of that content delivery network. In 1999, the cloud wasn’t even invented and SaaS was just getting started. In fact, I believe Salesforce started at that time. We were part of this revolution which now is called cloud. We built a very successful business. We reached about $70 million run rate and were acquired for over half a billion dollars by Akamai, which is a multi-billion dollar public company, back in 2005.
Then I started a company in the adjoining space. Speedera was a content delivery network, which accelerated outside of the enterprise traffic. We wanted to accelerate the content that resides inside companies. That’s what I started back in 2008. Fast forward, now we are in our fifth year of operation. It took us about two to three years to build the technology. We’ve been selling successfully to enterprises of all shapes and sizes – from Fortune 100 companies to companies doing small revenues. This is a new way of connecting globally-distributed enterprises.
It displaces the previous industry, which was very cumbersome and involved a lot of IT management – installing boxes in data centers or inside your premises and then getting your own connectivity to make communication happen. We said, “That’s old-fashioned. Having a generator in your backyard does not suffice anymore. There is a better way of doing things.” We’re bringing about that change. It’s a big technological shift. We’re still in the very early stages of evangelizing this concept. Even though we have hundreds of customer contracts, I would say this market is barely penetrated. There are thousands of companies out there who could benefit from what we’ve done.