Akamai Technologies (Nasdaq: AKAM) provides services for accelerating and improving the delivery of content and applications over the Internet. It was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., just outside of Boston.
With all the Internet can do nowadays, stream video, embedding video, and interact with the browser, the ability to deliver such content quickly and seamlessly is important for the providers, such as the NBA and Facebook and MySpace. Akamai is the company providing software and hardware solutions for these sites, so that users can experience the latest layup by their favorite basketball star or the latest video uploaded by their friends or download the latest song from iTunes.
Through the use of both software and hardware, Akamai lets companies provide more information-dense and higher bandwidth content quickly to their customers. Song files are usually several megabytes in size, while videos can easily reach gigabytes. If you don't want to die of old age before listening or viewing, you need that content delivered rapidly, both as the providing company (Apple) and the consumer.
Not only does the company provide hardware to deliver the content, through over 30,000 servers worldwide, but it provides a software means of doing it quickly. One of its founders developed an algorithm to identify and get around bottlenecks in Internet traffic, speeding up content delivery.
Having been born in the height of the dot-com bubble in 1998 and going public in 1999, it is one of the few companies that came out of the bubble-deflation still alive, though its stock price suffered dramatically. In 2004, it turned net income positive, and grew net income by 43% annually through 2007.
Today's Internet would not be possible without Akamai, or a company like it. Considering that the company accounts for anywhere from 65% to 75% of all content delivery, that's not a far-fetched statement.
- Chairman -- George Conrades, since 1999
- CEO and President -- Paul Sagan, since 2005 and 1999, respectively
- Co-founder and chief scientist -- F. Thompson Leighton
- CFO -- J. Donald Sherman
- CTO -- Michael M. Afergan