Briefing

Cloudflare files to go public

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The web infrastructure and security company’s IPO prospectus shows a US$36.8-million net loss on US$129.2 million in revenue in the first half of 2019. Revenues were up 48 per cent from the first half of 2018, and losses increased 13 per cent over the same period. The lead underwriters for the initial public offering include Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan.(Bloomberg)

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Talking point: The San Francisco-based firm said in its Thursday filing that the negative publicity from its hosting of 8chan poses a risk to its business. Cloudflare cut off service to the online message board after it was used by the alleged assailants in the El Paso, Texas and Christchurch, New Zealand mass shootings this year. Despite the risks, Cloudflare remains a significant provider: the company said about 10 per cent of Fortune 1,000 companies are its customers, and its security services blocked, on average, 44 billion cyber threats a day during the second quarter of 2019. But the risks remain significant to its bottom line, said Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince. After it cut off 8chan, Prince said, “In taking this action, we’ve solved our own problem, but we haven’t solved the internet’s.” After it decided to stop hosting The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi blog, Prince said the move could set a dangerous precedent: “It will be a little bit harder for us to argue against a government somewhere pressuring us into taking down a site they don’t like.”