Cloudflare, a startup that secretly runs the internet, raises $150 million — meaning its long-awaited IPO probably isn't happening soon

  • Cloudflare, a startup that quietly powers much of the modern internet, has raised another $150 million in a funding round led by Franklin Templeton.
  • This hefty round likely means that its long-awaited IPO isn't likely to happen in the near future.
  • Cloudflare also added Nike Foundation co-chair Maria Eitel and veteran tech exec Stan Meresman to its board of directors.

Cloudflare, a startup that quietly underpins much of the modern internet, has raised $150 million in funding in a round led by investment firm Franklin Templeton.

Notably, this hefty funding round likely means that Cloudflare's long-awaited IPO — previously reported to have been planned for the first half of this year— is off, or at least postponed, as the company now has the capital to stay private a little bit longer. The company says the money will go into international growth, hiring, and developing new products.

Cloudflare is best known for its content delivery network (CDN) services, which helps websites and apps from customers including Discord, OKCupid, and PF Chang's load faster, while also protecting against hackers and other bad guys. In recent years, it's expanded into privacy services and other cybersecurity-related businesses, too.

When Cloudflare last raised funding in 2016, it was valued at $3.2 billion, though it declined to share an updated figure with today's news. All told, Cloudflare has raised over $330 million in funding to date, from investors including Microsoft, Baidu, Qualcomm, and CapitalG (formerly Google Capital).

Along with the funding, Cloudflare also announced that Nike Foundation co-chair Maria Eitel and veteran tech exec Stan Meresman have joined its board of directors.

This year is likely to see a lot of tech IPOs — Uber, Lyft, and Slack have all filed to go public, with a who's who of smaller startups all expected to follow suit at some point this year. However, it appears that Cloudflare won't be joining that particular parade in the near future.

On a final note, this is a big week for the behind-the-scene startups that quietly run the internet. Nginix, the proprietor of a wildly popular open source web server, was snapped up by frenemy F5 Networks for $670 million in a deal announced on Monday.

Cloudflare declined to comment on its valuation or reports that it was planning to go public.