Cotendo launches "next generation" content delivery network

The world of content delivery networks — i.e., services that help serve videos and other content to website visitors — is already dominated by established players like as Akamai Technologies and Limelight Networks. But a startup called Cotendo is launching a new network that it says will be more responsive and transparent than any of the competition. Lending credence to those claims is Cotendo’s announcement of a second round of funding — $7 million from Sequoia Capital and Benchmark Capital, two of the biggest names in the venture business.

“We’re among the first in the next wave of CDNs that are not just focusing on video but focusing on whole site delivery,” says Mike Sawyer, the company’s vice president of marketing.

In other words, members of the old guard, such as Akamai, built their technology around helping customers bring video to their websites — and there are innovative startups pushing forward in this area, such as video streaming service BitGravity. But as websites become more dynamic and interactive, there’s a fresh opportunity for a CDN with a more comprehensive set of services, says chief executive Ronni Zehavi.

What does that actually mean? Well, for one thing, Zehavi says Cotendo is one of only twoCDNs to support dynamic (i.e., changing) as well as static content. Even more important, Zehavi says Cotendo provides unprecedented flexibility and visibility. It lets you see exactly what kind of performance you’re getting and where, and lets you make immediate decisions in response to that data. You could decide to improve performance in North America (and pay a higher cost for that), but leave things the same elsewhere, for example.

Sawyer adds that tasks like, say, updating thousands of photos, which would often see some lag with other CDNs, can be accomplished right away with Cotendo. Customers will see a similar flexibility and speed in how the company (officially based in San Carlos, Calif., but with the bulk of its research and development team in Israel) rolls out new features. Cotendo’s application suite also includes an “accelerator” to improve site performance, and a “balancer” that lets customers split distribution between their own resources, Cotendo, and other CDNs.

Cotendo is targeting mid-market companies that spend between $100,000 and $500,000 on content delivery a year, Zehavi says. It raised a first round of undisclosed size from Sequoia.

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