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The San Francisco-based web security company increased its share price to US$15—from a range of US$12–US$14—and sold 35 million shares, to raise US$525 million ahead of its Friday IPO. By the end of its first day on the New York Stock Exchange, the company’s stock was up to US$18.12 in late afternoon trading, bringing its valuation to above US$5 billion. (The Logic)

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Talking point: Two days before going public, it hiked its share price range—from US$10–US$12 to US$12–US$14—and then bumped it again on the eve of its IPO. Cloudflare joins other money-losing tech companies to go public this year, but it’s so far bucking the trend that has seen high-profile flops like Uber and Lyft. Michelle Zatlyn, the company’s Canadian co-founder and chief operating officer, told The Logic investors advised the company during its road show that they were willing to pay more than what the firm had initially expected. Unlike Uber and Lyft, Cloudflare’s losses are shrinking relative to its revenue growth, and it has a comparatively short-term path to profitability. The company has 74,873 paying customers and counts 10 per cent of the Fortune 1,000 among them. It posted US$129.2 million in revenue for the first half of 2019, a 48 per cent increase over the same period the year before. Losses as a percentage of its revenue fell from 37.3 per cent to 28.5 per cent.

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The cloud infrastructure and security company, co-founded by Saskatchewan’s own Michelle Zatlyn, is now expecting to raise US$490 million in its IPO, US$70 million more than it initially planned. That’s based on a share price increase from between US$10–US$12 to between US$12–US$14, bringing Cloudflare’s maximum value to US$4.2 billion. (The Logic)

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Talking point: The jump in share price signals the company’s increased confidence in what investors are willing to pay for it since filing its prospectus in August. That bucks the trend among other tech firms that have gone public recently or are planning to do so. Uber, for example, lowered its share prices ahead of its IPOs—its debut was panned as an upset, anyway. And, there are reports that WeWork may cut its valuation by as much as US$20 billion ahead of its forthcoming IPO. Pre-IPO share increases have also backfired, however: Lyft raised its share price ahead of going public in March, after which its stock stumbled, hitting an all-time low in early September.

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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.”

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Cyberattacks are the new pulling-the-fire-alarm for getting out of test-taking, according to Matthew Prince, CEO of cybersecurity firm Cloudflare. Prince said the company sees a spike in DDoS—distributed denial-of-service—attacks at schools around exam time, blocking devices from accessing a test service. (Yahoo Finance)

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Talking point: The trend highlights the challenges with moving exams to the web. Last year, two students in New Jersey were arrested for hacking the school’s Wi-Fi networks ahead of an exam. And Questar Assessment, a Minnesota-based company that creates standardized exams, has been the target of cyberattacks across the U.S. that have involved students taking the wrong tests, their data being stolen, faulty scoring and disruptions that caused months-long delays in test-taking or all-out cancellations. Many of these disruptions likely feel like a godsend for ill-prepared students, but some of the more egregious glitches could compromise students’ grades as they’re applying for college or university.