It’s a rare startup that closes a $20 million venture round and doesn’t bother to mention it more more than half a year. But Cloudflare, the almost-winner of TechCrunch Disrupt: SF 2010, did just that. They raised a healthy $20 million last November, on top of a more modest $2.1 million raised in 2009.
“We’re just now starting to spend the money we raised last year, CEO Matthew Prince told me yesterday, so we thought it would be a good time to announce it.” New Enterprise Associates led the new round, and previous investors Venrock and Pelion Venture Partners also participated, says the company.
The company, which offers websites a dead simple and very inexpensive content delivery network plus security and analytics platform, is on a tear. In May the websites using CloudFlare had 3.5 billion page views. Today their customers have 7 billion monthly page views, from 200 million unique users. And it’s growing about 50% per month. We’re also a customer.
That’s a significant portion of the entire online population. And that breadth of network, says Prince, helps CloudFlare keep sites fast and secure. “CloudFlare has stopped 2.1 billion attacks against its users’ websites” says the company. They have twelve data centers around the world to optimize delivery and keep things humming.
The company also has positive gross margins, meaning their revenue pays for the actual cost of delivering the service (but not headcount and other real costs, yet). They charge just $20/month to run a site, plus $5/month for additional sites from a user. There are no bandwidth or additional costs. That’s a ridiculously small fee to charge, and the big CDNs like Akamai, charging massive bandwidth and storage fees, must be taking note.
CloudFlare is a service that does one thing: make websites better. With a single change to DNS, sites are instantly protected from a wide range of online threats, see an increase in page load speeds, and have their content dynamically optimized across the Internet. CloudFlare’s core service is free.