Security Startup StackPath Acquires Highwinds

The Dallas-based startup launched less than a year ago, aims to make the internet safe.

Lance Crosby, Stackpath , Dallas, Texas

StackPath, a Dallas-based cybersecurity firm that has blazed a path of steady growth since its emergence less than a year ago, has taken another expansionist move with the acquisition of Highwinds, a content delivery network based in Florida.

The move, announced Monday, put renewed attention on StackPath CEO Lance Crosby, who founded the company after formerly heading SoftLayer Technologies, which he started in 2005. IBM bought SoftLayer in 2013 for $2 billion.

Financial details were not disclosed, but company officials said in a press release that the integration will put StackPath at more than 300 employees with more than 20,000 computer delivery network customers. 

“We founded StackPath to make the internet safe.” LANCE CROSBY

The deal effectively combines two fast-growing aspects of the internet age — next-generation security systems needed to combat a proliferation of cyber attacks, and content delivery networks (CDNs) that speed the flow of data and information on the traffic-clogged internet.

“We founded StackPath to make the internet safe. Merging Highwinds with StackPath not only serves that mission, it accelerates our progress towards it,” Crosby said in the announcement statement. “Merging Highwinds and StackPath technologies and teams gives us the scale, scope, and experience to more quickly bring the market an integrated, next-generation platform with unprecedented security advantages.”

NEXT-GENERATION INTERNET SECURITY

CDNs set up servers with copies of data in strategic geographic locations around the globe, thus shortening the distance for the flow of information and enabling recipients to get the data faster.

More than half the traffic on the internet is served by CDNs, say experts, and start-ups are continually entering the market. The CDN market is expected to grow from $6 billion in 2016 to $23.2 billion by 2021, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 30.9 percent, according to Monday’s statement. 

StackPath, which officially launched in July, has branded itself as a next-generation security system with a platform that constantly learns more about threats as it gathers data, continually becoming “smarter, more secure, and easier to use.”

Security breaches cost U.S.-based businesses more than $145 billion in 2015, according to a 2016 MergerTech study. As StackPath describes it, its system “effectively deputizes each service on the host network with the authority to identify and communicate real-time threats against it to an intelligent data repository.”

The Dallas company is backed by ABRY, a Boston-based private equity investment firm that reportedly provided $150 million in funding for StackPath.

“I’m as excited about the future of Highwinds as part of StackPath as I am proud of what we built.”
STEVE MILLER

The company bought four other companies before acquiring Highwinds, according to a report in Fortune, including MaxCDN, another content delivery network, and Fireblade, a web application firewall.

Highwinds’ services and platform will be integrated with existing StackPath offerings and operations to create a single global platform with the industry’s best security features and performance, according to Monday’s announcement.  

“I’m as excited about the future of Highwinds as part of StackPath as I am proud of what we built,” said Steve Miller, Highwinds founder and CEO. “Each company’s strengths complements the other’s.”


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