New CDN Prime Networks, Backed By Andreessen Horowitz, Launching In Asia
While one could very well argue that there are already too many content delivery vendors in the market, that doesn’t seem to be stopping more companies from entering the space. The latest, Prime Networks, was founded in 2008 and last year, got an undisclosed amount of funding from Andreessen Horowitz, the venture capital firm named after co-partner Marc Andreessen, the co-founder of Netscape.
Normally, I’d say that Prime Networks has no shot at making it in an already crowded CDN market, but the one thing they have going for them is that their area of focus is outside North America. Of course, they aren’t the only CDN vendor that’s focusing on a specific region in Asia, but with over 400M internet users in China alone, the market for content delivery services in Asia is expected to see some serious growth. The growth in the region won’t guarantee that Prime Networks will be successful, but at least their odds are a little bit better than if they were launching in the U.S.
Prime Networks currently has 100Gbps of network capacity and has 40 customers to date, including MSN China. The company is still defining their North American based strategy and chances are, will enter up partnering with a U.S. based company rather than build out their own network in the U.S.
While the company has been pretty quiet to date and hasn’t done much in the way of marketing, one hopes that when they are ready, that they learn from the past mistakes other CDNs have made in entering the market. The company is going to need to communicate to customers a real message of who they are and what they do and not simply use a bunch of marketing terms. Right now, Prime’s website talks about how they are a “next generation content delivery network” and that their advantage is that they differentiate with their “reliability, performance, and customer service.” Basically the exact same things all the other CDNs say.
Prime Networks also says that their “content delivery solutions consistently outperform other current CDNs in terms of both speed and availability, as measured by third party testing services“, yet they provide no details of on the results or the testing. They say to contact them for results of the third party tests, yet I’ve sent in three emails and received no response. Their website also says that the company was founded “by a team dedicated to building leading technologies to provide world
class solutions to the most challenging and dynamic CDN markets in the
world,” yet they don’t list any executives or even a CEO by name which is a little strange.
It’s possible the company just wants to stay under the radar for now and not provide a lot of details on what they are up to, but it would then be best for them not to make such bold claims about their service on their website.