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Founded July 2009 (2009-07)
Headquarters San Francisco, California, U.S.
Founder(s) Matthew Prince
Lee Holloway
Michelle Zatlyn
Key people Matthew Prince (CEO)
Lee Holloway
Michelle Zatlyn
Industry Internet
Products CloudFlare
Services Website performance,
Alexa rank Increase 1,202 (September 2014)

CloudFlare is a company which provides a content delivery network and distributed domain name server, sitting between the visitor and the CloudFlare user's hosting provider, thus acting as a reverse proxy for websites. The service provides security, as well as improving website performance and speed. Cloudflare protects, speeds up, and improves availability for a website or mobile application with a simple change in DNS. CloudFlare is headquartered in San Francisco, CA with an additional office in London. [1]


CloudFlare uses a modified version of Nginx as a key technology.[2] As of July 2014, it reportedly operated from within 28 partner data centers.[3]

CloudFlare protects, speeds up, and improves availability for a website or mobile application all with only a simple change in DNS. The network optimizes web and mobile pages to improve page load times and performance. CloudFlare also blocks threats and limits abusive bots and crawlers from wasting bandwidth and server resources. Cloudflare currently runs on an Anycast network. [4] CloudFlare protects customers from DoS attacks, they also provide other services like a web application firewall (WAF).

CloudFlare releases "Keyless SSL" technology that lets sites use CloudFlare’s SSL service while retaining on-premise custody of their private keys. [5]


CloudFlare was created in 2009 by Matthew Prince, Lee Holloway, and Michelle Zatlyn,[6][7] who had previously worked on Project Honey Pot.[7][8] CloudFlare was launched at the September 2010 TechCrunch Disrupt conference.[6][7]

CloudFlare received media attention in June 2011, not all of it positive, after providing security to LulzSec's website.[6][9]

In July 2011, CloudFlare announced receiving $20 million in venture funding from New Enterprise Associates, Venrock, and Pelion Venture Partners.[10][11]

In June 2012, the hacker group UGNazi attacked CloudFlare partially via flaws in Google's authentication systems, gaining administrative access to CloudFlare and using it to deface 4chan.[12][13]

In December 2012 it raised $50 million in Series C funding from Union Square Ventures and existing investors. [14]

In February of 2014 CloudFlare mitigated the largest ever recorded DDoS attack which peaked at 400 Gbit/s. [15]

In February of 2014 CloudFlare announced that it acquired the anti-malware firm StopTheHacker. While CloudFlare could stop new infections the acquisition ensured that sites that were already infected when they first signed up would be able to remove any potential vulnerabilities and malware. [16]

In June 2014, CloudFlare acquired Ryan Lackey's company CryptoSeal.[17]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Prince, Matthew (June 15, 2012). "Introducing SPDY". CloudFlare. Retrieved August 17, 2014. 
  3. ^ Joshua, Motta (July 22, 2014). "Listo! Medellin, Colombia: CloudFlare's 28th Data Center". CloudFlare. Retrieved July 22, 2014. 
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b c Henderson, Nicole (2011-06-17). "CloudFlare Gets an Unusual Endorsement from Hacker Group LulzSec". Webhost Industry Review. Retrieved 2014-05-09. 
  7. ^ a b c "Our story". CloudFlare. Retrieved 2011-08-15. 
  8. ^ "CloudFlare Beta". Project Honey Pot. Retrieved 2011-08-15. 
  9. ^ Hesseldahl, Arik (2011-06-10). "Web Security Start-Up Cloudflare Gets Buzz, Courtesy of LulzSec Hackers". All Things Digital. Retrieved 2011-08-15. 
  10. ^ Hesseldahl, Arik (2011-07-12). "Web Security Start-Up CloudFlare Lands $20 Million Funding Round". AllThingsD. Retrieved 2012-07-12. 
  11. ^ Milian, Mark (December 18, 2012). "Why a Fast-Growing Startup Tries to Keep Its Venture Funding Secret". Tech Deals. Bloomberg. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  12. ^ Simcoe, Luke (2012-06-14). "The 4chan breach: How hackers got a password through voicemail". Maclean's. Retrieved 2012-07-12. 
  13. ^ Ms. Smith (2012-06-03). "Hacktivists UGNazi attack 4chan, CloudFlare and Wounded Warrior Project". Privacy and Security Fanatic. NetworkWorld. Retrieved 2012-07-12. 
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ "CloudFlare Acquires CryptoSeal". CloudFlare. Retrieved 2014-06-18.