Baidu, Google, Microsoft and Qualcomm join to invest in CloudFlare

Happy to take the money, but what's in it for the Big Boys?


Four internet giants – Baidu, Google, Microsoft and Qualcomm – have cosied up to join CloudFlare's most recent funding round, which raised $110m.

The Content Delivery Network service, which is headquartered in San Francisco (with an additional office in London) was founded in July 2009 and is reportedly considering an IPO.

It was announced this week that Baidu, Google, Microsoft and Qualcomm had participated in its funding round.

CloudFlare has been profitable and was not in "need" of funding, according to CEO and founder Matthew Prince, who explained to Fortune that what it did need was the credibility which came with being associated with the biggest companies, as it considered an IPO.

Its service, which includes network protection and DDoS mitigation, is claimed to have "mitigated more than 200bn cyberattacks in August alone" according to Forbes.

Prince told the press that CloudFlare is still sitting on $50m, raised in its Series-C wicker-basket pass-around. Total investment in the six-year-old startup now stands at $182m.

Prince told Forbes that CloudFlare had been focused on five questions with regard to its future growth:

  • 1) What’s your China strategy?
  • 2) What’s your mobile strategy?
  • 3) How will you sell to big enterprises?
  • 4) How will you work with Google?
  • 5) Will the public market take you seriously?

Amazingly, Prince suggested these questions were all answered in its last investment round, in a manner which we have summarised below:

  • 1) Baidu is our China strategy.
  • 2) Qualcomm is our mobile strategy.
  • 3) Microsoft is how we will sell to big enterprises.
  • 4) Google is how we will work with Google.
  • 5) Yes. See questions 1-4.

CloudFlare claims it has more than four million customers in 30 countries, and that it is responsible for processing five per cent of all internet requests. It is a little quieter about the number of court orders it receives, due to commercial relationships with suspects. ®

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