Cloudflare Raises $1.25 Billion for Startups Using Its Workers Platform
Caching provider Cloudflare has assembled a consortium of venture capital firms that have pledged to commit $1.25 billion to back startups with their core infrastructure built on Cloudflare’s Workers technology.
Cloudflare Workers is a full-stack developer platform that includes cloud storage, website hosting, SQL databases, and a serverless product. Workers can aid developers with administrative duties such as configuring DNS records, maintaining certificates, and more complex tasks such as scaling up clusters and building complex deployment pipelines.
Workers also includes a massive global network in over 275 cities and 100 countries of which code automatically deploys quickly and consistently. Developers can manage globally distributed applications with a programmable network that connects to whatever series they need to talk to. The platform offers tiered pricing including a free tier for developers just getting started.
“We’re excited about Workers not only because we’ve built our own infrastructure on it, but also because we’re seeing the incredible things others have built on it,” explained Cloudflare Strategy Directory Mia Wang and Alex Dyner, Cloudflare senior vice president for special projects, in a recent blog post.
Cloudflare itself is not providing any funding or making any funding decisions for the program, called Workers Launchpad. All funding decisions will be made by the 26 VC firms that participate in the program, including Bessemer Venture Partners, Firstmark, Greylock, and Lightspeed.
All applying startups must have their core infrastructure must be built on Workers.
Not on Workers? No problem. You can sign up. Cloudflare for Startups is invitation-only so interested parties should fill out the one-page application soon as there’s no harm in just submitting the initial inquiry.
The post-application process is as follows: Each startup’s application will be reviewed by the Launchpad team made of several former entrepreneurs and venture capital veterans. The most promising applicants will get matched with VC partners in the corresponding spaces with the guarantee of pitching their VC partners. Launchpad winners will be announced quarterly.
All startups that apply by Oct. 31, 2022, are eligible for the Winter 2022 class of Workers Founders which includes additional support such as mentorship, marketing opportunities, pitch coaching with investors, Cloudflare leadership engagement, and advice on how to build a successful business on topics ranging from recruiting to marketing and sales during a virtual Workers Founders Bootcamp week. The program ends with a Virtual Demo Day which allows each participant to show the world what they’ve been building.
Workers Launchpad applicants that raised less than $3 million in total external funding can automatically receive Cloudflare’s Startup Plan which includes all the elements of Cloudflare’s Pro and Business Plans ($2,400 annual value) plus higher tiers of their Stream video product, Teams Zero Trust security suite, and Workers platform. The company has recently added products to the plan such as email security, R2, Pages, and KV.
The Zaraz Success Story
Last year, Cloudflare acquired cloud tool manager Zaraz, an Israeli startup built entirely on Workers in late 2021. Zaraz secures and accelerates third-party web tools. Zaraz replaced the multiple network requests of each tool running on a website with one single request. This ended up streamlining the messy web of extensions into a single lightweight application.
.Zaraz, “opened our eyes to the power of the global community that’s built on our platform, and left us motivated to help startups built on Workers find the funding, mentorship, and support needed to grow,” the blog authors wrote.
Cloudflare runs approximately 20% of the world’s websites on its network, according to the company.