Less than two months after forming a services company based on its open-source, high-performance web server, Russia-based NGINX has raised $3M in a Series A and will open its San Francisco HQ before the end of 2011.
Investors are BV Capital, whose global portfolio includes Sonos and Angie's List, Russia-focused Runa Capital and an entity affiliated with MSD Capital, the private investment firm of Dell CEO Michael S. Dell.
NGINX co-founder Andrew Alexeev tells LAUNCH the latter is "very interesting to have because Dell has been very proactive in regards to combining open source with offering of their core product" and he hopes NGINX will have a "fruitful relationship" with Dell.
NGINX servers are known for helping companies scale to billions of pageviews with modest resources. The company's first product -- a commercial-grade connection processing and optimization software platform -- will debut in mid-2012. NGINX already has customers but is not releasing names just yet.
Since forming the company in July, they have fixed about 30 bugs, improved various performance issues and added support for streaming MP4 files [ complete list of major changes below ]. NGINX has focused on documentation for users, and the next step will be developer documentation, according to Alexeev.
NGINX powers 43M domains -- over 8.5% of the total market and over 20% of the top 1K busiest sites worldwide, including Facebook and Groupon. NGINX creator Igor Sysoev released the NGINX code in 2004 [ for details on how NGINX works, see our profile. ]
While NGINX is not intended to replace Apache, which has nearly two-thirds of the total market, Microsoft is losing ground. Netcraft's October 2011 survey reports that "if current trends continue NGINX will soon overtake Microsoft to have the second largest number of active sites."
NGINX's founders are Sysoev, CTO, who started developing NGINX in 2002 while at Russian search engine Rambler; Maxim Konovalov, COO and GM; and Alexeev, head of business development and marketing.
The founders, along with the core engineering team, will remain based in Russia. The San Francisco office will focus on sales and marketing. Alexeev says they will be looking for "a good person to represent us here and who knows the American market well" [ Alexeev's contact info is below if you're interested. ]
Alexeev tells LAUNCH that because Sysoev has been able to dedicate himself to NGINX full time since July, the pace of improvements and bug fixes has increased.
"Judging from his face every time I see him, he's really happy now," says Alexeev. "He was very pleased to see feedback from the community when meeting face to face with customers in August."
Recent Major Changes to NGINX
- Implemented full support for HTTP/1.1 to backend servers (keepalive to backends)
- Implemented support for streaming MP4 files from disk
- Significantly improved cache loader performance
- Additional directives and checks to control HTTP range requests
- Fixed Linux AIO issues
- Implemented buffering control with WSGI and SCGI
- Improved SSL performance
- Improved performance and memory footprint for HTTP connections
Email: andrew at nginx dot com