Nginx, the lead commercial sponsor behind the open-source Nginx Web server, aims to grow its business, with a boost from a fresh capital injection of $10 million.
The new funding is a Series B round led by venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and brings the total funding to date for Nginx to $13 million.
The timing is now right for Nginx to raise new funds, Gus Robertson, CEO of Nginx, told eWEEK. “We launched our first commercial product in August, and we’ve already seen significant demand for it,” Robertson said. “So the timing was right to increase our investment.”
Nginx’s first commercial product is the Nginx Plus server, which provides commercial tools and support that go beyond what is available in the open-source version of the product. Nginx is now the second-most-popular Web server tool in the world for active sites, with a 13 percent market share, according to the October Netcraft Web Server Survey. Open-source rival Apache still dominates the active site list, with a 52 percent share.
Robertson noted that the new funding will be used to help grow Nginx as a company, improving support and customer server as well as ramping up sales and marketing efforts.
“We’re a startup and a growing company, so we’re investing ahead of the curve,” Robertson said. “We have revenue and we have customers, but we are investing for growth.”
Growth From Different Directions
Nginx’s Web server is used by customers in a variety of different ways, Robertson said, adding that with Nginx Plus, one of the use cases is as a load-balancer for Web traffic, and a caching capability is in the works.
“We’re putting more focus on manageability, making it easier to deploy,” Robertson said.
While growth and revenues will come from the commercial Nginx Plus product, Robertson explained that his company is also investing in the open-source community. “There are new features going into the open-source release that we’re doing in parallel with our Nginx Plus work,” Robertson said.
When Nginx released its commercial product, there were some question about how much the company would continue to invest into the open-source release, but since August, there have been four incremental open-source Nginx Web server releases, Robertson said.
“Hopefully our actions are speaking loudly for us about our commitment to the open-source community,” Robertson said.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.