Cloud security company Cloudflare plans to pursue an initial public offering in 2019, according to a report, as it continues to build one of the more interesting networks in cloud computing.
Reuters reported Monday that Cloudflare has chosen Goldman Sachs to lead its IPO, which could value the company as high as $3.5 billion. A lot can happen between now and the middle of next year, of course, but the nine-year-old company, which offers cloud security services and protection against web attacks, has been on this path for a while.
Attendees of the 2018 GeekWire Cloud Tech Summit likely aren’t surprised by this news, given the amount of detail co-founder and CEO Matthew Prince provided around the San Francisco startup’s finances at the event. Cloudflare is recording “well north” of $100 million in revenue a year, and while it is being run at break-even like most startups of its size, its gross margins are 84 percent, Prince said in June.
However, on Twitter, Prince appeared to throw cold water on the report:
It’s a strange transition from early in a startup’s life where you beg for the media to pay attention to you to later when they start making up things about you out of whole cloth. ?
— Matthew Prince (@eastdakota) October 23, 2018
Cloudflare’s anti-DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack services and content-delivery network are responsible for a sizable portion of that revenue, but the company has been rolling out several new computing services that take advantage of its distributed network. It is also trying to get cloud providers to lower bandwidth costs by enlisting them in an industry alliance that would route traffic over Cloudflare’s network in locations where it is interconnected to cloud provider networks.
Here’s a video of Prince discussing Cloudflare’s services, finances, and interactions with neo-Nazis at our event this past June.