December 10, 2019 News Magazine

Cloudflare has a third cofounder, Lee Holloway, who’s credited with making the company what is today

Not every cofounder is acknowledged at the companies that they help to launch. Sometimes, they quit or they’re elbowed out. Often, they’re conveniently written out the company’s history.

In the case of Cloudflare, a third cofounder who began the company with CEO Matthew Prince and COO Michele Zatlyn is little known outside the company for a very different reason. As Cloudflare states in an S-1 filing IPO filing that it made public today, “Tragically, Lee stepped down from Cloudflare in 2015, suffering the debilitating effects of Frontotemporal Dementia, a rare neurological disease.”

Frontotemporal dementia impacts between 50,000 and 60,000 Americans, according to a rough estimate cited by the Alzheimer’s Association, and it tends to impact younger people, beginning at age 45.

Though the cause isn’t known, a person’s risk for developing frontotemporal dementia — wherein the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain shrink — is higher if there’s a family history of dementia, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Cloudflare did not respond today to questions about Holloway, but Prince and Zatlyn, in a section of the filing addressed to potential shareholders, credit Holloway as the “genius who architected our platform and recruited and led our early technical team.” In fact, they write, when picking a code name for the company’s IPO, they chose “Project Holloway” to honor his contribution because the “technical decisions Lee made, and the engineering team he built, are fundamental to the business we have become.”

Holloway’s beneficiaries will be rewarded for that work. According to the S-1, trusts affiliated with him own 18% of the company’s Series A shares (or common shares) and 3.2% of the company’s total outstanding shares. Prince meanwhile owns 20.2% of the company’s class B shares and 16.6% of all outstanding shares, and Zatlyn has 6.8% of the company’s class B shares and 5.6% of the overall shares outstanding.

If Cloudflare goes public at the $3.2 billion valuation it was last assigned by its private investors, Holloway’s family and other trust recipients could see upwards of $100 million.

That’s none too shabby for a computer geek who attended Monte Vista High School in Danville, Calif., before working as an engineer at the bubble-era home improvement site HomeWarehouse.com, whose assets were sold in 2000 to Wal-mart.com. Though an apparent fire sale, then-CEO Jeanne Jackson told the San Francisco Chronicle that Wal-mart was “very impressed with the commerce platform developed by the Homewarehouse.com team.”

Either way, in the aftermath of the sale, Holloway headed to UC Santa Cruz, where he studied computer science and, in a meeting that would change his life, was introduced through a professor to Prince, with whom he began building an anti-spam startup called Unspam Technologies. Holloway was its chief software architect; Prince continues to serve as chairman. They two also co-created Project Honey Pot, an open source community that still tracks online fraud and abuse.

Zatlyn would enter the picture soon after. According to Cloudflare itself, in 2009, Prince had taken a sabbatical from work to get his MBA from Harvard Business School. It was when he began telling Zatlyn, a classmate, about Project Honey Pot and its community of users that she helped him recognize a related opportunity in not just tracking internet threats but also stopping them. While they worked on the business plan as part of their studies, Holloway built the first working prototype.

It worked well enough that by 2010, they were pitching investors at a TechCrunch Disrupt as one of the event’s “battlefield” participants.

Holloway wasn’t on stage for that demonstration. He might have preferred to operate in the background given the nature of his work.

Indeed, in the first of just three tweets he has ever published, he wrote simply, “Pondering the nature of web exploits.”

Pictured above: Cloudflare cofounders Zatlyn, Holloway, and Prince.


Source: TechCrunch

Tags: in Uncategorized
Banner
Related Posts

‘The Operators’: Slack PM Lorilyn McCue and Google Senior PM Jamal Eason on becoming a product manager and PM best practices

July 1, 2019

July 1, 2019

Tim Hsia & Neil Devani Contributor Share on Twitter Tim Hsia is the CEO of Media Mobilize and a Venture...

VW’s futuristic all-electric dune buggy embraces its 1960s’ roots

March 5, 2019

March 5, 2019

Volkswagen has added another member to its ever-expanding I.D. line of concept electric vehicles that’s meant to showcase the automaker’s...

SpaceX reveals more Starlink info after launch of first 60 satellites

May 24, 2019

May 24, 2019

Last night’s successful Starlink launch was a big one for SpaceX — its heaviest payload ever, weighed down by 60...

Kong acquires Insomnia, launches Kong Studio for API development

October 2, 2019

October 2, 2019

API and microservices platform Kong today announced that it has acquired Insomnia, a popular open source tool for debugging APIs....

Congress needs your input (but don’t call it crowdsourcing)

January 31, 2019

January 31, 2019

Lorelei Kelly Contributor Lorelei Kelly leads the Resilient Democracy Coalition, a group working to make sure Congress succeeds in the...

Ambitious Singapore startup Delegate wants to bring its event booking platform to the US

February 9, 2019

February 9, 2019

It’s not often that you hear about a startup from Singapore with ambitions to expand to the U.S, but that’s...

Molecule.one uses machine learning to make synthesizing new drugs a snap

October 3, 2019

October 3, 2019

Say you’re a pharmaceutical company. You’ve figured out that a novel molecule could be effective in treating an illness —...

Energizer’s massive battery/phone proves a viral hit ≠ crowdfunding success

April 30, 2019

April 30, 2019

Oof. This isn’t the sort of thing you want to see when you’re rounding the corner of your crowdfunding campaign:...

Everything you need to know about GM’s new electric bikes

February 14, 2019

February 14, 2019

General Motors announced last year it was getting into the electric bike business. But besides a crowdsourcing name competition and...

In Ford’s future, two-legged robots and self-driving cars could team up on deliveries

May 22, 2019

May 22, 2019

Autonomous vehicles might someday be able to navigate bustling city streets to deliver groceries, pizzas, and other packages without a...

‘Plundervolt’ attack breaches chip security with a shock to the system

December 10, 2019

December 10, 2019

Today’s devices have been secured against innumerable software attacks, but a new exploit called Plundervolt uses distinctly physical means to...

Unagi is the iPhone of scooters you actually buy

October 1, 2019

October 1, 2019

Can you never find a scooter to rent when you need one? Here’s a radical idea. Buy one. While Bird,...

GuestReady raises $6M to help hosts on Airbnb and other services manage their property

June 18, 2019

June 18, 2019

GuestReady, a three-year-old service that lets shared-economy hosts manage their business on Airbnb and other rental sites, has announced a...

Polyrize raises $4M for its next-gen authorization platform

July 2, 2019

July 2, 2019

In enterprise security, there’s been a slow but steady move toward implementing zero trust security models and moving away from...

India’s Mswipe raises $30M to grow its smart point-of-sale terminal business

April 2, 2019

April 2, 2019

Mswipe, an Indian fintech company that develops point-of-sale terminals for merchants, has pulled $30 million in new funding as it...

Comments
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *