F5 Inc. Success Story | How It Offers the Best Multi-Cloud Application Solutions?

Shalini Rath Shalini Rath
Aug 26, 2022 10 min read
F5 Inc. Success Story | How It Offers the Best Multi-Cloud Application Solutions?

Company Profile is an initiative by StartupTalky to publish verified information on different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by F5 Inc.

Having a secure way of doing online activities in this digital age is the need of the hour. Whether you are using an application to do a transaction or running a business with a website, you need certain security.

Mobile apps, websites, and all the other programmes used online are vulnerable to security threats. They too need protection from cybercrime. The rise of different apps and online transactions through digital platforms poses a danger to our sensitive data. These include information like our bank and credit card details, health information, and personal IDs needed for transactions. For this security reason, testing has become a very crucial aspect.

The American company, F5 Inc. specialises in application security, application delivery networking (ADN), network security, and prevention of online fraud activities. The company was founded in 1996 to run security for multi-cloud management.

Uncover the success story of F5 Inc. in this article, which includes its startup story, key people, key products and services, business model, revenue growth, and the challenges faced.

F5 Inc. - Company Highlights

Startup Name F5, Inc.
Headquarters Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Sector IT, Internet, Software & Services
Founded 1996
Founder Jeff Hussey
Revenue $2.6 billion (2021)
Website f5.com

F5 - About and How It Works?
F5 - Industry
F5 - Founder and Team
F5 - Startup Story
F5 - Name, Logo, and Tagline
F5 - Mission and Vision
F5 - Business Model
F5 - Revenue Model
F5 - Technology Alliances
F5 - Funding and Investors
F5 - Mergers and Acquisitions
F5 - Online and Social Media Presence
F5 - Advertisements and Social Media Campaigns
F5 - Awards and Achievements
F5 - Competitors
F5 - Future Plans

F5 - About and How It Works?

F5, Inc. (formerly F5 Networks) was founded in 1996. It is a technology business based in Seattle, Washington, United States that focuses on application protection, online fraud protection, application delivery networking (ADN), and other application-related services.

F5 has further 75 locations in 43 countries. Spokane, Washington; New York; Boulder, Colorado; London, England; San Jose, California; and San Francisco, California are all notable office sites. Services like account management, worldwide services support, product development, manufacturing, software engineering, and administrative roles are handled at these offices.

Almost 48 of the Fortune 50 companies are F5's customers for load balancing, Layer 7 application security, fraud prevention, and API administration. Some of the clients of F5 include - Microsoft, Oracle, Alaska Airlines, Tesla, and Meta.

F5 - Industry

F5 Inc. belongs to the industry of  IT, internet, and software and services. With the increased digitization, the spending by cloud-computing companies has seen a great rise in the past few years. The global cloud computing market size is expected to grow from $445.3 billion in 2021 to $947.3 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of nearly 16%.


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F5 - Founder and Team

F5 Inc. was founded by Jeff Hussey in 1996. The other key people of the company are François Locoh-Donou who is the CEO and Scott Rogers who is the Executive Vice President & General Counsel.

Jeff Hussey

Jeff Hussey - Founder of F5
Jeff Hussey - Founder of F5

Jeff Hussey founded the company in 1996 and served as the CEO of the company for six years. He has a Master's degree from the University of Washington and has acquired a Bachelor's degree in Finance from Seattle Pacific University. Jeff has worked at many companies serving in senior roles. After a stint of six years at F5, Jeff left the company to start another one in the same domain called Tempered Networks in 2014.

François Locoh-Donou

François Locoh-Donou - CEO and President of F5
François Locoh-Donou - CEO and President of F5

François Locoh-Donou is presently the CEO and President of F5, and a member of the Board of Directors. He has Engineering degrees from France's École Centrale de Marseille and Télécom ParisTech, as well as an M.B.A. from Stanford Graduate School of Business. Along with the existing role, he is also the co-founder and Chairman of Cajou Espoir. It is a non-profit organisation that focuses on cashew processing. He also serves on the board of Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE: COF).

Scot Rogers

Scot Rogers - Executive Vice President and General Counsel of F5
Scot Rogers - Executive Vice President and General Counsel of F5

Scot Rogers serves as the Executive Vice-President and General Counsel at F5. A graduate of the University of Texas, Roger has played influential roles at many enterprises. Besides this, he has eight years of experience as a commercial litigator.

F5 - Startup Story

Dating back to 26 years ago, F5, Inc. was founded in 1996 as "F5 Labs" and was earlier known as "F5 Networks, Inc." Today, the company's public name just refers to be called "F5".

In 1997, the F5 network introduced its first product, the BIG-IP load balancer. BIG-objective IPs were to redirect server traffic away from congested servers.

In 1999, the company went public and was listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker FFIV.

F5 network was initiated with application delivery controller or ADC technology and has now evolved into the application layer, automation, multi-cloud, and security services. Since then, the company decided to push itself and reinvent itself in the face of ransomware, data leaks, DDoS, and other attacks on organisations of all sizes.

It was later in 2017, in a homage to the company's origins, F5 developed a dedicated site and organisation focused on gathering global threat intelligence data, researching application risks, and publishing relevant discoveries, named "F5 Labs." The company's team still likes to do research and findings every week. As of July 2022, F5 reports having approximately 6,900 employees in the company.

In 2017, F5 confirmed that the company would relocate from its long-standing offices on the waterfront at Seattle Center to F5 Tower, a downtown Seattle skyscraper.

Among F5's personnel are NGINX author Igor Sysoev, Dahl-Nygaard laureate Gilad Bracha, Google click fraud czar Shuman Ghosemajumder, and Defense.Net founder Barrett Lyon.

F5 - Name, Logo, and Tagline

F5 - Logo and Tagline
F5 - Logo and Tagline

F5, Inc. was formerly known as F5 Networks. Before it was named F5 Networks, the company was initially known as 'F5 Labs'.

The tagline of F5 reads, "Solutions for an application world"

F5 - Mission and Vision

F5 network's vision says, "Enable your organization to better respond to and anticipate customer needs today and tomorrow."

F5 - Business Model

F5's business mainly revolves around a B2B model as they provide various application-related services for security reasons and products for various technologies. As mentioned they have top clients like Oracle, Alaska Airlines, Tesla, Microsoft, and Meta (Facebook).

Let's take a brief look at the products and services offered by F5 Inc.:

BIG-IP

BIG-IP is a product line that includes hardware, modularized software, and virtualized solutions that run the F5 TMOS operating system. F5's BIG-IP features the following products-

  • BIG-IP Access Policy Manager
  • BIG-IP Advanced Firewall Manager
  • BIG-IP Carrier-Grade NAT (CGNAT)
  • BIG-IP Advanced WAF
  • BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager
  • BIG-IP Next Service Proxy for Kubernetes
  • BIG-IP SSL Orchestrator

BIG-IP Deployment

F5 network offers products to deploy clients' applications either on-premises or on the cloud. These includes:

  • BIG-IP VIPRION Chassis and Blades
  • BIG-IP iSeries Appliances
  • Cloud-Native Network Functions
  • VELOS Chassis and Blades

BIG-IQ Centralised Management

F5 network has designed the BIG-IQ centralised management to manage all the BIG-IP devices and services in one unified platform.

DDoS Hybrid Defender

F5 network's DDoS protection is for the network and at the application layer that is flexible and scalable for clients' hybrid deployment.

Distributed Cloud Services

F5 network offers distributed cloud services to simplify deployment and other operations for its customers' apps. These include:

  • DDoS Protection
  • Bot Defense
  • API Security
  • Aggregator Management
  • Client-Side Defense
  • Multi-Cloud Transit
  • Load Balancer & K8 Gateway
  • Account Protection
  • Cloud-based Platform Overview

NGINX

F5 network offers high-performance app delivery, known as NGINX that modernises apps at scale, from monoliths to microservices, and also supports regular software updates. There are hourly and annual subscription choices available, as well as various degrees of support, professional services, and training.

Various F5 network NGINX services are:

  • NGINX Controller
  • NGINX Open Source
  • NGINX App Protect
  • NGINX Ingress Controller
  • NGINX Controller
  • NGINX Service Mesh
  • NGINX Amplify

Silverline Managed Services

F5 network offers other security services for apps like:

  • Silverline Web Application Firewall
  • Silverline Shape Defense
  • Silverline DDoS Protection

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F5 - Revenue Model

F5 Inc. Revenue from 2017 to 2021
F5 Inc. Revenue from 2017 to 2021

The company reported a revenue of $2.6 billion in the year 2021 which is nearly 11% year-over-year growth. The operating income was $394 million in the same year. It has announced a 4% revenue growth in the fiscal 2022 third quarter, including a 38% growth in software revenue.

Hardware solutions such as the BIG-IP iSeries systems continue to account for the majority of F5's revenue.  Furthermore, the business has begun to provide more modules on its proprietary operating system, TMOS (Traffic Management Operating System.) Other services from which F5 Inc. generates revenue by providing various organizations that access the running of BIG-IP, and deploy load balancing, Layer 7 application firewalls, single sign-on (for Azure AD, Active Directory, LDAP, and Okta), as well as enterprise-level VPNs.


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F5 - Technology Alliances

F5 Inc. has partnered with some of the major companies to provide its cloud-computing services. It has teamed up with the world's leading technology companies like:

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Cisco
  • HashiCorp
  • IBM
  • Red Hat
  • Intel
  • OpenStack
  • Ansible
  • Alibaba Cloud
  • Equinix
  • VMware

F5 - Funding and Investors

F5 has raised two funding rounds and the latest funding was raised with an undisclosed amount on Nov 8, 2020, from a Post-IPO Equity round. The money raised by the F5 network for its IPO in 1999 was $30 million.

F5 is backed by two investors. The most recent investors are Elliott Management and Ridge Ventures.


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F5 - Mergers and Acquisitions

F5 network has bought around 12 companies. Threat Stack was their most recent purchase, which occurred on September 20, 2021. F5 network purchased Threat Stack for $68 million.

Date Acquiree Name Amount
September 20, 2021 Threat Stack $68 million
January 7, 2021 Volterra $500 million
December 19, 2019 Shape Security $1 billion
Mar 11, 2019 NGINX $670 million
May 22, 2014 Defense.Net -
September 17, 2013 Versafe $92 million
February 11, 2013 LineRate Systems -
February 20, 2012 Traffix Systems $135 million
August 15, 2011 Crescendo Networks -
August 6, 2007 Acopia Networks $210 million
September 6, 2005 Swan Labs $43 million
June 2, 2004 MagniFire Websystems $ 29 million

F5 - Online and Social Media Presence

The company seems to have a very well-established online and social media presence on almost every major platform.

F5 - Advertisements and Social Media Campaigns

The company has posted a lot of videos regarding its services and products to give a brief idea of how it works. Along with posting various videos regarding its services, F5 has also posted about its customer success stories. The company indulged in an advertisement with the message that F5 is a strong force for making cybersecurity personal.

F5 Advertisement - A Force For Making Cybersecurity Personal #AForceFor

F5 - Awards and Achievements

Awards won by F5 Inc. are:

  • F5 has won the 2020 Puget Sound Business Journal’s Top Corporate Philanthropists.
  • India’s 50 Great Mid-size Workplaces -- Great Place to Work®
  • F5 has won the 2020 Governor’s Volunteer Service Award.
  • F5 was named in the Top 10 in the Tech Hardware sector for America’s Most Just Companies (2020).
  • F5 won NetworkWorld Asia Information Management Awards 2018.
  • F5 won SC Awards 2018 -- Best Web Application Solution.
  • F5 captured the award for BIG-IP Application Security Manager and Silverline Web Application Firewall service.

F5 - Competitors

The top competitors of F5 Inc. are:

  • Citrix
  • A10 Networks
  • Akamai
  • Barracuda
  • Imperva
  • Fortinet
  • Cloudflare

F5 - Future Plans

As F5 has reported a 4% revenue growth in the fiscal 2022 third quarter, it seems to have further solid plans for the upcoming fourth quarter.

CEO and President, François Locoh-Donou says, “With our intense business transformation efforts over the last five years, we have built a stronger and more resilient F5, as evidenced by our 72% revenue from recurring sources in the quarter. As a result, we have increased confidence in our ability to deliver sustained revenue and earnings growth."

F5 network is expecting to deliver revenue in the range of $680 million to $700 million, with non-GAAP earnings in the range of $2.45 to $2.57 per diluted share in the coming fourth quarter of the fiscal year 2022.

FAQs

Is F5 a global company?

F5 is a global company entrusted by the world's largest and most successful businesses, consumer brands, and government organizations for the delivery and security of their applications.

Who founded F5?

Jeff Hussey founded F5 Inc. (formerly known as F5 Networks) in the year 1996.

When did F5 go public?

F5 Inc. went public and was listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange in the year 1999. The company sold 2.86 million shares at $10 per share.

What are F5 Big-IP devices?

F5's BIG-IP comprises various software and hardware products that are designed around application performance, automation, access control, and security solutions.

Where is F5 Inc. headquarters?

F5 Inc. has its headquarters in Seattle, Washington, United States.

What are F5 products?

F5 Inc.'s products include:

  • BIG-IP
  • BIG-IQ Centralized Management
  • DDoS Hybrid Defender
  • Distributed Cloud Services
  • Global Server Load Balancing
  • NGINX
  • Silverline Managed Services

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