Domain Name System (DNS) and traffic management provider NS1 announced last week that it raised more than $20 million in a Series B funding led by Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners with participation from Two Sigma Ventures as well. Prior investors Flybridge Capital Partners and Sigma Prime Ventures also joined.
Additionally, Jack Young, head of venture capital with Deutsche Telekom Capital Partners, will join NS1’s board as part of the deal.
DNS is important because it maintains a directory of domain names and translates those into IP addresses. NS1’s platform uses this information to help website operators automatically route users to the best service endpoint. Supposedly, this improves application performance and allows developers to tune traffic to specific business objectives.
Companies entrust their domains to the NS1 platform to gain visibility over DNS and to configure rules as to how they want to manage traffic and direct specific users with data and real-time conditions in their infrastructure, says Kris Beevers, an NS1 founder and its CEO.
Since NS1 closed a $5.35 million Series A in April 2015, it has added two new features to its NS1 Platform — Dedicated DNS and Pulsar.
NS1 claims that Dedicated DNS is the first software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based technology for delivering DNS and traffic management in private and hybrid networks, both on-premises and in the cloud. Pulsar is a traffic management system that automatically routes traffic, making real-time routing decisions.
Beevers does admit that there are some competitors NS1 is up against, such as Akamai, Dyn, Neustar, and Verisign, but he claims that only NS1 built its technology from custom software. When DNS first became a commercial product, it was used by network operators to connect various networks to the internet, and that’s where many of these companies’ businesses still lie, Beevers says.
“We are a software company,” whereas NS1’s competitors are networking companies, Beevers says. “We differentiate on our software’s ability to make decisions about which of our customers’ infrastructure can drive traffic the best.”
NS1 touts that its platform handles hundreds of billions of queries per month and has achieved triple-digit year-over-year growth since its first round of funding. It has also picked up some big-name customers such as Yelp, LinkedIn, and Imgur.