Cloudflare raises $150M with Franklin Templeton leading the latest round of funding

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After a long break from fundraising, yesterday Cloudflare, a U.S. based company that provides content delivery network services, Internet security, etc, announced that it raised $150 million of funding. The company also announced the joining of Stan Meresman, board member and chair of the Audit Committee of Guardant Health (GH) and Maria Eitel, founder and co-chair of the Nike Foundation as the board of directors.

In 2014, Cloudflare raised around $110 million funding and the company has raised more than $330 million till date from investors including New Enterprise Associates, Union Square Ventures, Microsoft, Baidu, and many more.

During the latest round of funding Franklin Templeton, an investment management company joined these investors and further extending its support to Cloudflare’s growth.

Matthew Prince, co-founder and CEO of Cloudflare, said, “I’m honored to welcome Maria and Stan to our board of directors. Both of them bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to our board and know what it takes to propel companies forward. Our entire board looks forward to working with them as we continue to help build a better Internet.”

Eitel has previously run European corporate affairs for Microsoft and worked in media affairs at the White House, and also had been an assistant to President George H.W. Bush.

Eitel said, “My career has been focused on creating global change, and the Internet is a huge part of that. The Internet has the ability to unleash human potential, and I believe that Cloudflare is one of the major players able to drive the change that’s necessary for the world and Internet community.”

Stan Meresman was previously CFO of Silicon Graphics (SGI) and Cypress Semiconductor (CY). He said, “Cloudflare’s technologies, customer base, and global network have helped propel the company to a position of leadership in the Internet ecosystem. I look forward to lending my skills and expertise to Cloudflare’s board in order to continue this growth and make even more of an impact.”

According to a report by Reuters, last year, Cloudflare was considering an IPO in the first half of 2019, that could have valued the company more than $3.5 billion. According to this latest funding round, it seems that the company isn’t yet in the direction of going public, but Cloudflare is growing and public offering could possibly be the next big step.

Few users are expecting the company to go public this year and are happy that the company is moving in a good direction. One of the users commented on HackerNews, “I do wonder how people feel about this internally though. There’s a lot of expectation that the company would go public this year (and some even expected it would go public last year). Hopefully, no one needs the money they put in to early exercise any time soon!”

Another comment reads, “Cloudflare is undergoing a lot of big projects to break away from the image that they are “just a CDN”. Raising a round now instead of going public allows them to invest more on those projects instead of focusing on quarter to quarter results. Also, avoiding brain-drains post-IPO while they need those talents the most.”

Few others think that the company might start monetizing over the data flow. A user commented, “Doesn’t raising this kind of money scream that you’re eventually going to start to monetize the data flowing through your network (e.g. telecoms selling location data to bounty hunters)?”

To know more about this news, check out the official announcement.

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