Business & Tech

Web-traffic specialist Dyn lands a $50m investment

Manchester, NH, Tuesday, May 19, 2015: Meeting in the kitchen, Dynamic Network Services Inc CEO Jeremy Hitchcock, right, talks with security administrator Neil Schelly, left. DYN is a start up tech company situated in a renovated mill building. CREDIT: Cheryl Senter for The Boston Globe

Cheryl Senter for The Boston Globe/file 2015

New Hampshire-based Dyn helps Web-based businesses speed up their applications and avoid crashes.

As the Internet becomes more complex, there’s good money in being an online traffic cop.

Dyn Inc., which helps Web-based businesses speed up their applications and avoid crashes, has raised a $50 million private equity investment. With more than 400 employees, the Manchester company is one of the great hopes of New Hampshire’s startup community. It expects to surpass $100 million in annual sales this year.

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Dyn’s main product connects an easily remembered name for a website, such as bostonglobe.com, to the numerical Internet protocol address that represents the site’s actual location online. That allows Web users to quickly look up websites, social media accounts, or online software programs instead of memorizing a series of digits.

The company has made nearly a dozen acquisitions over the years and has added new product lines in an attempt to increase sales.

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Dyn also sells Internet monitoring services that let IT managers identify traffic hiccups, and traffic-routing applications that send users’ clicks to the closest or fastest data center in a network.

“You can think of it like building a Google maps for the Internet,” said chief executive Jeremy Hitchcock, who cofounded Dyn in 2001 as a student at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Dyn boasts prominent companies as customers, including Twitter, Visa, Netflix, British Telecom, and The Boston Globe.

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Handling the Internet’s digital plumbing has become more important as software programs and online services shift to cloud computing, or storing digital assets in a series of remote server farms instead of at a central data center or on the user’s own computer.

“The market has run right toward them,” said Steve Duplessie, founder of the IT analyst firm Enterprise Strategy Group. “The Internet slowing down today is the same as a server crashing yesterday — it negatively affects productivity, and causes customers to hate me. Dyn helps mitigate that from happening.”

Dyn has several competitors in the field of managing how the Internet functions, including Neustar Inc., Verisign Inc., Amazon Web Services, and Akamai Technologies Inc. in Cambridge, said Jim Davis, an analyst at 451 Research.

Hitchcock said the new investment will help Dyn add employees and potentially acquire more companies, particularly amid signs that private investment for tech companies is slowing in response to a stagnant market for initial public offerings of stock.

“We think this will be a good time to pick up good talent and good companies if the opportunity arises,” he said.

This is just Dyn’s second round of investment since it was founded. It raised $38 million, led by North Bridge Venture Partners, in 2012.

Curt Woodward can be reached at curt.woodward@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @curtwoodward.
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