Nine-year-old Cloudflare witnessed a dreamy IPO alongside its 1,000+ employees. At an IPO price of $15, its shares opened at $18 on the first day of trading, marking a 20% rise. The shares continued to hold their prices through the day.
A unique IPO
2019 has seen its fair share of hyped-up public listings that didn’t live up to their cult image. Uber is the poster child of such companies that launched with much fanfare but eventually fell flat. Note that Uber’s value had to be cut right before the IPO. With Cloudflare, the story has gone into the opposite direction. The company was expected to open between $10 to $12 on the day of IPO.
However, its team of underwriters- headed by Goldman Sachs- decided to increase the price to $15. They understood the high demand for the offering and increased valuation, which proved to be a good bet. Its founders Matthew Prince and CEO Michelle Zatlyn rang the bell.
Later, Zatlyn sat for an interview with TechCrunch, where she talked about their public listing as well as the company’s plans ahead. The company was one of the competitors in TechCrunch’s Battlefield competition back in 2011.
What is Cloudflare looking forward to?
Zatlyn noted that the company raised $1 billion via venture investors and its IPO and added that Cloudflare wants to create more value than it absorbs. When asked if the company would look at new acquisitions, she said that they have an engineering-driven approach. As a result of this, they focus heavily on building more services and exciting products. She didn’t explicitly deny that it will become an acquisitive company in the future.
She was also asked about the unique dual-class infrastructure of the company’s shares. It gives employees and management 10x the voting right of publicly available shares. She replied that this structure was important for the people who are building products at the company. Zatlyn also clarified that they are not following into the footsteps of another company with their shareholding infrastructure.
Note that Cloudflare will face some business challenges as its services were being used entities and individuals that were blacklisted by the United States. The company is in touch with the US Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control since May. She said that Cloudflare services are available for everyone, but if customers are breaking the law, they will be removed by the network.