initial public offerings (IPOs) trading on American exchanges

Friday, September 13, 2019

Cloudflare (NET) began trading on the NYSE on Fri 13 Sept 2019

CloudFlare specializes in a cloud-based network platform that promises security, enhanced performance of business-critical applications, and “eliminating the cost and complexity of managing individual network hardware”.
  • Sector: Technology
  • Industry: Software - Application
  • Full Time Employees: 1,069
  • Founded in 2009 
  • HQ in San Francisco, California
Shares hit high of $19.53 after pricing above range at $15. Closed up 20% at $18.

Cloudflare Inc. Co-founder and CEO, Matthew Prince, along with Co-Founder and COO, Michelle Zatlyn, joined by NYSE President Stacey Cunningham

Cloudflare Inc. Co-founder and CEO, Matthew Prince, along with Co-Founder and COO, Michelle Zatlyn

In August, Cloudflare dropped 8chan as a customer, condemning the unmoderated message board as “a receptive audience for domestic terrorists” following recent mass shootings, and this appears in the company’s “risk factors” section. Cloudflare noted that it was not the first time a customer elicited scrutiny after a violent attack.

The company also disclosed that it may have done business with individuals and entities tied with narcotics and terrorism according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control blacklists, and that it was introducing additional controls and screening to prevent similar activity occurring in the future.

Cloudflare’s IPO comes just a few months after cybersecurity company CrowdStrike (CRWD) went public in June. While CrowdStrike shares are trading 91% above their IPO price, the ETFMG Prime Cyber Security (HACK) is up 14% for the year and the Renaissance IPO ETF (IPO) is up 31%. The First Trust Cloud Computing ETF (SKYY) is up 19% for the year, compared with a 23% gain in the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.22%.

Cybersecurity has become a hot space recently as a buy or be bought mentality has crept into the year as VMware (VMW)  announced an acquisition of cybersecurity company Carbon Black (CBLK) Broadcom (AVGO)  made a bid for Symantec Corp.’s (SYMC)  enterprise business, and BlackBerry Ltd.’s (BB)  acquisition of Cylance in February.

Prince said an IPO has always been an implicit assumption at the company. As soon as you start taking venture capital money or start issuing options to employees, there’s an implicit signal that you’re going to have to turn that into something you can buy a house with or send a kid to college with, and that there was no pressure from early investors or employees, he said.

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