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CloudFlare Raises $20 Million after Helping LulzSecurity.Com Run Fast and Safe

CloudFlare, a startup that recently gained significant visibility as a result of helping hacker group LulzSec keep its site up and running during large traffic spikes and rival hacker attacks, has raised $20 million in a Series B funding round.

The $20 million round was led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and existing investors Venrock and Pelion Venture Partners also participated in the Series B funding round. The company will use the financing to continue to build its team and expand its infrastructure.

CloudFlare LogoThe company says its service currenly powers 7 billion page views per month, an increase of 280 percent in just the last 60 days. CloudFlare also says it has stopped 2.1 billion attacks against its users' Web sites.

The company was recently criticized for continuing to provide its Web performance and security services to LulzSecurity.Com, with some critics saying it was essentially helping the organization succeed and further promote itself.

Matthew Prince, CEO at CloudFlare, responded to inquiries coming from confused and concerned people asking the company to take down LulzSecurity.Com. One thing many people didn’t realize is that CloudFlare is not a Web hosting provider, and discontinuing service to the hacker group would not have taken the site down. “Because of the nature of our service, unlike a hosting provider, if we had removed LulzSecurity.com or any other website from CloudFlare it would not have removed the content from the Internet. As I noted to several reporters who asked me, the only difference would have been the site wouldn't have loaded as fast,” Prince wrote in a blog post.

Currently utilizing 12 data centers around the word, CloudFlare’s network automatically optimizes the delivery of Web pages so visitors get the fastest page load times and improved performance. The service also helps stop threats and limits abusive bots and crawlers from wasting bandwidth and server resources. CloudFlare's technology automatically detects and shares information about attacks across the community, making the network smarter and increasing the level of protection and performance as the community grows.

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