Cloud security start up Cloudflare gets $110 million in venture funding

Secure cloudGoogle, Microsoft and chip maker Qualcomm are among the investors to collectively stake $110 million in networking and cyber security start up CloudFlare, according to a report in Fortune.

Cloudflare offers services that speed up cloud systems and web sites while beefing up security. Its main market proposition is to speed up the functioning of any services used by enterprises at the edge of their networks. By doing so it provides a cheaper alternative to the traditional model of on-premise appliances.

Cloudflare claims enterprises can quickly set up cloud-based firewall, load balancing, WAN optimization, distributed denial of service (DDoS) mitigation, content delivery and domain name services services worldwide without needing any hardware. It claims that in one day it saved Chinese users more than 243 years of time that would have been collectively spent waiting for web content to load.

Last week Cloudflare finalized a joint venture with Chinese Internet giant Baidu that allows both US-based companies and Chinese-based companies to use CloudFlare’s website performance service while adhering to Chinese data laws.

Although CloudFlare maintains no physical operations in China, it has worked with Baidu to set up technology within Baidu’s facilities that mimic CloudFlare’s services elsewhere, Prince said.

The funding round was led by Fidelity Investments with Google Capital, Microsoft, Baidu and Qualcomm Ventures, the investment arm of Qualcomm all contributing funds. CloudFlare now has $182 million in total funding.

Matthew Prince, CEO of the start up, said Cloudflare didn’t need the funding as much as it needed the credibility that comes with top brand association. The confidence that comes with the backing of Google and Microsoft could convince nervous buyers that this is a solid investment when the company prepares itself for an initial public offering, it was reported. However, the IPO is unlikely to happen this year, said Prince, and he hinted that it would come no earlier than 2017.