Web Site Protector CloudFlare Gets First Reseller

San Francisco-based CloudFlare said Thursday that it would get a cut of each $10 monthly subscription DreamHost sells to the owners of the 4 million Web sites the Brea, Calif.-based company hosts. No other financial details were disclosed.

Privately held CloudFlare, founded in 2009, monitors its clients' Web sites and protects all of them when a denial of service attack occurs on one. The startup also sells services that improve a site's overall performance, including loading pages and graphics faster.

CloudFlare, which had raised $20 million from venture capital firms as of January, claims to have 300,000 Web sites in its network. The company has grown quickly by offering some of its services for free and charging for others. CloudFlare won't disclose revenue or the number of paying clients.

The DreamHost deal marks a strategy for getting some of CloudFlare's non-paying clients to open their wallets, Matthew Prince, co-founder and chief executive of the company, said. The idea is to work with hosting companies on service bundles that have fewer features and cost less than the company's $20 a month professional plan.

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"This is the first partnership we've done where the hosting partner is acting as a reseller," Prince said.

CloudFlare sells its services through more than 1,000 hosting companies and plans to offer DreamHost-like deals with the ones the company believes would make good resellers, Prince said. Among the possibilities are HostGator, which hosts 8 million domains, and Media Temple, which hosts more than 1 million Web sites.

CloudFlare has ambitions of moving from its niche of servicing smaller sites to larger commercial sites, even those of the Fortune 500. Those packages, which would place the company in competition with larger players, such as Akamai and Symantec, could run as high as $2,500 a month or more for custom jobs. For now, CloudFlare is testing higher-level services for businesses that would cost $200 a month and plans to start selling them "soon," the company said.