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CloudFlare, a company offering a content-delivery network (CDN) with security features to make sure websites stay online and load quickly around the world, is announcing today a $110 million funding round with major strategic investors: Google Capital, Microsoft, Baidu, and Qualcomm.
The news comes a few days after CloudFlare announced a partnership with Baidu, provider of the biggest search engine in China, as well as a deeper partnership with cloud provider Google Cloud Platform.
Now CloudFlare is working with Qualcomm to optimize connections between CloudFlare’s network and phones with Qualcomm chips, and it’s also looking into servers packing ARM-based chips from Qualcomm, as CloudFlare cofounder and chief executive Matthew Prince told VentureBeat in an interview. CloudFlare is also figuring out ways to deepen its partnership with Microsoft, Prince said.
CloudFlare, which offers premium Denial of Service (DoS) mitigation and web application firewalls to stop certain kinds of cyber attacks, has developed into a major player on the Internet. The company says it has 4 million customers, including Cisco, NASDAQ, Reddit, and the World Economic Forum. WikiLeaks has used CloudFlare, too. (Prince actually ended up meeting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.)
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Direct competitors include Imperva’s Incapsula, but in the CDN market, specifically, it faces competition from top cloud provider Amazon Web Services, as well as Akamai, Fastly, Instart Logic, MaxCDN, and Verizon’s EdgeCast. But CDN on its own isn’t especially interesting, Prince said.
“We think the real opportunity is to take the functionality performed in a Cisco, F5, Juniper, Riverbed, or any other firewall you have out there, and provide that,” he said.
The company expects to hit a $100 million revenue run rate by the end of the year, and an initial public offering is possible as soon as 2017, Prince said.
Fidelity Management and Research Co. led the new round in San Francisco-based CloudFlare, which started in 2009 and launched in 2010. The round closed in December 2014, Prince said, adding that, since then, CloudFlare has opened a new data center every week.
To date, CloudFlare has raised $182 million, including the $50 million round announced in December 2013.
CloudFlare is open to partnering with additional vendors, including competitors like Amazon and Alibaba.
“We’re happy to work with anyone in the ecosystem,” Prince said.
A CloudFlare blog post has more on the news.
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