NS1, a company developing web and app traffic automation solutions for enterprises, today announced a $40 million round. Cofounder and CEO Kris Beevers said the investment will support the company’s continued R&D and general growth.
Enterprise network performance needs to be constantly tuned in order to stay ahead of users’ needs. In many cases, this entails costly manual deployment and configuration of physical and virtual devices. These processes — like installing a DNS server at the network edge — can take weeks to months and introduce errors. It’s no wonder Gartner predicts organizations that automate more than 70% of their network change activities will reduce the number of outages by at least 50%.
NS1’s platform automates some of the most common networking tasks companies undertake, like assigning and allocating new IP addresses for devices, routing traffic, load balancing, creating subnetworks, and updating DNS entries. For workloads that can’t be automated entirely, it provides streamlined automation workflows, all while running in an API-based containerized footprint small enough to fit on a Linux switch.
NS1 lets companies deploy and optimize apps in distributed, heterogeneous infrastructure — either on-premises or in the cloud — and its DNS toolset protects against distributed denial-of-service attacks and delivers up-to-the-minute telemetry data from users. In addition to managed, dedicated, enterprise, and private DNS for websites and apps, all of which offer instant propagation and integration with popular DevOps tools, NS1 provides a managed service that handles things like migrating from another DNS provider, spinning up or down instances, changing infrastructure, adding a second DNS, and optimizing app delivery.
The pandemic has brought the need for networking automation solutions into sharp relief. As a result of government and employer mandates to “shelter in place” and work remotely from home, internet subscribers are consuming more bandwidth than during the holidays and sporting events like the Super Bowl. Reflecting this, Markets and Markets anticipates the DNS services market will be worth $438.8 million by 2022, up from $238.9 million in 2017.
“Sometimes it takes shock events to accelerate change. The pandemic brought a heightened sense of urgency to IT modernization. Five-year projects are being condensed to one-year — or less. Investing in modern internet infrastructure is paramount right now. It is the only way to scale quickly enough to meet these aggressive timelines,” Beevers told VentureBeat via email. “While many are cautious right now, we are leaning in, doubling our engineering capacity and investing aggressively in product development. We are reimagining the foundations of networking in the context of macro trends — DevOps, IoT, microservices, cloud approaches, edge computing — making them cloud-native, smarter, and more resilient.”
NS1 claims client bookings are up 159% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2020. The company now has 600 customers globally (up from 450 in October 2019) including LinkedIn, Salesforce, TomTom, the Guardian, and Pitney Bowes, 200 of which were added in 2019.
Energy Impact Partners led NS1’s series D round, alongside existing investors, bringing the New York-based company’s total funding to $125 million. This follows NS1’s $33 million series C funding round, which was led by Dell Technologies Capital, with participation from Cisco Investments, Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners, GGV Capital, Salesforce Ventures, Telstra Ventures, and others.
NS1 employs 180 people across its offices in the U.S. and abroad. Within 9 to 12 months, the company plans to “significantly” increase the size of its engineering team.