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CloudFlare Quietly Raises $50M, Announces 450% Increase in Revenue

A year after closing its third round of funding, female co-founded CloudFlare announces $50M investment to help clients speed up website load time and prevent online fraud.

By Betsy Mikel (Contributing Writer, Women 2.0)

As soon as most tech startups secure any amount of funding, they are eager to immediately shout the news from the rooftops.

But CloudFlare — a San Francisco-based startup that helps improve the performance and security of websites — just recently announced it raised $50 million in December 2012. AllThingsD reported that CloudFlare used the funding to increase its global network capacity and opened an engineering office in London. According to TechCrunch, the company has raised a total of $72.1 million since launching in 2009.

So why wait a whole year to spread the news? That’s not a very tech startup thing to do.

“We’ve been on a mission to build a better Internet, and we did not feel we needed to make a big deal of the funding to do that,” co-founder and User Experience Director Michelle Zatlyn told AllThingsD.

Along with the funding announcement, CloudFlare has reported explosive growth: in 2013, they doubled their customer count to more than 1.5 million and reported a 450% increase in year-over-year revenues. CloudFlare offers all websites the same expensive security measures many large websites employ, but at a fraction of the cost. It’s no surprise their client base is growing quickly; spamming, hacking and crawling can be a serious problem, especially if your business is growing.

In February 2013, Zatlyn spoke at a Women 2.0 conference about how the CloudFlare founding team scaled the company and now serves a billion views a day. As the “get things done” User Experience Director, Zatlyn launched CloudFlare alongside “technical genius” CEO Matthew Prince and “big vision strategy” Lead Engineer Lee Holloway.

“You need all three to get things done. You want to cover with your co-founders as much surface area as possible. You want different people than you,” Zatlyn explained. “There’s no confusion about who’s going to work on what because we have different skill sets.”

What do you think are some of the most important qualities of a successful founding team for a tech startup?

BMikelPhotoSquareBetsy Mikel is a freelance copywriter and content strategist who helps brands, businesses and entrepreneurs tell their stories. A journalist at heart, her curiosity drives her to find something new to learn every single day. Follow her on Twitter at @betsym.