|Headquarters||San Francisco, California, U.S.|
|Key people||Matthew Prince (CEO)
|Alexa rank||1,486 (May 2015)[update]|
CloudFlare, Inc. is a U.S. company that provides a content delivery network and distributed domain name server services, sitting between the visitor and the CloudFlare user's hosting provider, acting as a reverse proxy for websites. Its network protects, speeds up, and improves availability for a website or mobile application with a change in DNS. CloudFlare is headquartered in San Francisco, California, with additional offices in London and Singapore.
CloudFlare was created in 2009 by Matthew Prince, Lee Holloway, and Michelle Zatlyn, who had previously worked on Project Honey Pot. CloudFlare was launched at the September 2010 TechCrunch Disrupt conference. It received media attention in June 2011, after providing security to LulzSec's website.
In February 2014, CloudFlare mitigated the largest-ever recorded DDoS attack, which peaked at 400 Gbit/s.
In March 2015, at the South by Southwest Interactive conference, CloudFlare CEO Matthew Prince said that the company, which is valued at more than $1 billion, was on a trajectory to go public in 2017. Noted that the company became profitable in August 2014, Prince speculated that CloudFlare's gross profit margin could be as high as 90% by the time it goes public (as of March 2015 it was 75%).
In September 2015, CloudFlare raised $110 million in a Series D round led by Fidelity Investments, with participation from Google Capital. 
In June 2014, CloudFlare acquired CryptoSeal, founded by Ryan Lackey, in a deal it says will extend web user security services. In February 2014 it acquired StopTheHacker, which offers malware detection, automatic malware removal, and reputation and blacklist monitoring.
CloudFlare claims to protect, speed up, and improve availability for a website or mobile application by using a DNS change. The network optimizes web and mobile pages to improve page load times and performance. CloudFlare also attempts to block threats and limit abusive bots and crawlers. CloudFlare currently runs on an anycast network. CloudFlare aims to protect customers from DDoS attacks; they also provide other services like a web application firewall (WAF).
Awards and recognition
- Awarded "Best Enterprise Startup" by TechCrunch at the 8th Annual Crunchies Awards in February 2015.
- Named the "Most Innovative Network & Internet Technology Company" for two years running by the Wall Street Journal.
- In 2012 CloudFlare was recognized by the World Economic Forum as a Technology Pioneer.
- Ranked among the world's 10 most innovative companies by Fast Company.
CloudFlare was ranked in the 7th rank among the top 50 Bad Hosts by Host Exploit, even though CloudFlare is not a hosting provider. The service has been used by Rescator, a website that sells payment card data.
An October 2015 report found that CloudFlare provisioned 40% of SSL certificates used by phishing sites.
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