Fastly

“One way we identify investment opportunities is by asking ourselves what breaks as the result of new technology or important industry trends. That’s how we realized Fastly would be a great target for us,” said Rob Rueckert, Managing Director, Sorenson Capital. “In a world where streaming media and data are increasing exponentially, we realized that traditional infrastructure, like content delivery networks (CDNs) and relational databases, would crumble under the increased load.”

Fastly’s Edge Compute Platform enables developers to run, secure, and deliver web sites and applications on the edge or as close to users as possible, regardless of location, anywhere in the world. That means Fastly’s customers can deliver content and services with higher performance and a better experience than competitors using traditional CDNs that were originally designed for static web pages and less complex applications and architectures.

“What I most appreciated about Sorenson’s help was their objectivity. They walked us through the numbers and analysis and allowed us to develop the right strategy. This data-driven approach has paid off for everyone.”

“Once we developed our investment hypothesis around content and application delivery, we quickly circled in Fastly,” continued Rueckert. “Our market research validated our thinking. Enterprise customers confirmed that Fastly had a solution that could actually improve performance with fewer data centers. Fastly was starting to separate itself in the market, but, when we looked closely, we realized the business had huge untapped potential for future growth.”

One Fastly executive who understood the company’s vast potential was Wolfgang Maasberg, EVP of Global Sales and Field Operations. Maasberg realized that much of Fastly’s growth, unlike previous companies where he had worked, was coming from existing customers who were increasing their spend with Fastly.  

“After joining the company, I soon noticed that our relationship with customers matured over two to three years. New customer contracts typically started out relatively small, but I started to see a pattern. Once customers realized that our product and performance were better, they gradually increased their spend with us,” explained Maasberg. “Unlike most fast-growing SaaS companies, I didn’t need more sales reps. What I wanted was more post-sales resources to accelerate growth in existing customer accounts and a compensation model that was better aligned to the market opportunity.” 

Maasberg and his team worked closely with Sorenson to analyze the customer book and pipeline data in a way that clearly demonstrated these spending patterns. Sorenson’s team was able to provide reporting that demonstrated this customer behavior was more than just anecdotal. It was actually a key driver in the company’s growth and success.

“Sorenson provided us with analysis that could support data-driven conversations at the leadership and board level. Ultimately, these discussions were critical in helping us align our resources and compensation structure with the market opportunity,” said Maasberg. “This helped us expedite our decisions and ensure we could adapt our organizational structure and go-to-market processes before it was too late. What I most appreciated about Sorenson’s help, however, was their objectivity. They walked us through the numbers and analysis and allowed us to develop the right strategy. This data-driven approach has paid off for everyone.”

Fastly went public on the NYSE on May 17, 2019. By the summer of 2020, the company had a market value of nearly $10 billion. Revenue growth has continued to stay strong as well. From 2017 to 2019 annual revenue more than doubled to over $200 million