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24. CloudFlare

Making the web faster

Founders: Matthew Prince, Lee Holloway, Michelle Zatlyn
Launched: 2009
Funding: $181 million
Valuation: $3.2 billion
Disrupting: Security, enterprise software
Rival: Cisco


Matthew Prince, co-founder and CEO of CloudFlare
Source: CloudFlare
Matthew Prince, co-founder and CEO of CloudFlare

Among the features that any company wants for its website is speed and security. The website infrastructure company CloudFlare offers both. This San Francisco-based company, launched in 2009, says its mission is to build a better internet and change the way 2 billion people around the world access information.

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They're tackling that tall order by rolling out HTTP/2, the next-generation protocol that coordinates between browsers and web servers and promises faster load times, more efficient connections and better security. The company claims that more than 5 percent of all web requests now flow through its network and 7,000 new customers sign up for its service each day. (According to CloudFlare, it takes 4 minutes to sign up.)

"CloudFlare’s on a mission to help build a better internet. We make any internet application as fast as Google.com, protect them from attacks and ensure they are always online." -Matthew Prince, co-founder and CEO

The next market in need of faster web-page loading is China, and the company has recently opened 17 new data centers there. Funding — $181 million so far — has come from Fidelity, Google, Microsoft and Qualcomm, among others. They're clearly impressed with CloudFlare's reach and the fact that it's racked up more than 350 percent annual revenue growth in each of the past three years.

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