Tom Maloney (Bloomberg) -- Cloudflare Inc. Chief Executive Officer Matthew Prince became a billionaire Thursday as the stock climbed to a record hours before the company’s scheduled earnings report.
Shares of the San Francisco-based firm advanced 14% to $28.52 at 1 p.m. in New York, giving Prince a net worth of $1.08 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
“Cloudflare has been aided by the surge in streaming, gaming and e-commerce as people stay at home,” said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Mandeep Singh.
The firm, whose stock has soared about 90% since its September initial public offering, provides services such as firewalls, network routing and traffic management that allow cloud-based sites to operate more effectively. Prince, who helped launch Cloudflare in 2009, owns about 12.5% of the company, according to its latest proxy filing. Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Michelle Zatlyn controls a 4.8% stake.
Cloudflare spokeswoman Daniella Vallurupalli didn’t immediately reply to phone and email messages seeking comment.
In previous filings, the company acknowledged that it faced risks of adverse publicity from the use of its network by 8chan, a website favored by white supremacists and used by gunmen before mass shootings last year in El Paso, Texas and Christchurch, New Zealand. It also cited the use of its services by neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer around the time of the 2017 protests in Charlottesville, Virginia. Cloudflare eventually ceased providing services to those outlets.
Prince joins a growing list of tech entrepreneurs whose fortunes have surged on pandemic-induced increases in demand for services. They include Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest person, Netflix Inc.’s Reed Hastings and Zoom Video Communications Inc.’s Eric Yuan, whose net worth has more than doubled this year to about $7.8 billion.
After U.S. markets close Thursday, Cloudflare is expected to report first-quarter revenue of $87 million, a 41% increase from a year earlier, according to the average estimate of analysts in a Bloomberg survey.