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$26 billion web security giant Cloudflare just hired Cisco's head of sales to lead its push into the lucrative Latin American market

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  • Cloudflare hired Carlos Torales from Cisco to lead sales in Latin America.
  • The internet security firm will use its partnerships to add talent and infrastructure in the region.
  • Insider spoke with Torales and Cloudflare's CTO about the firm's plans for Latin America.

Latin America is quickly becoming a hot spot for the power players of Silicon Valley, with vendors pouring in to support the billions of dollars of capital flooding the region's nascent tech scene.

Now, Cloudflare — the $26 billion internet security giant that helps protect companies like Canva and Shopify from cyberattack even as they scale up – wants a piece of the market.

The internet security firm announced on Friday that's it's hired 20-year industry veteran Carlos Torales away from Cisco to head its sales team in Latin America. The company aims to grow its presence in the region through investments in areas like infrastructure and talent, Torales and Cloudflare chief technology officer John Graham-Cumming tell Insider.

"We do see a huge opportunity to double our business in Latin America," Torales said. "We are investing in people, in our team to be closer to our customers."

Torales brings two decades of IT experience in Latin America to Cloudflare, and he says right now is an inflection point for the region. In his 15-plus year career at Cisco, Torales served as a managing director of sales in the small business segment and built out a team of product specialists in Latin America.

Because of the pandemic, customers in Latin America are investing heavily in technology and digital capabilities, giving Cloudflare an opportunity to increase its business, Torales said.

Cloudflare already operates in more than 275 cities, including 36 in the Latin America region, according to the company. Regional customers include news organization El Universal, financial firm Bidu, and retailer Facily.

Cloudflare plays in the the global market for content delivery networks, or servers and data centers that deliver internet services. That market is is expected to grow to $81.86 billion by 2030, according to estimates from The Brainy Insights.

"There's lots of opportunity for Cloudflare to continue to expand and obviously having Carlos local makes a big difference," Graham-Cumming said.

But there will be no shortage of competition for customers. Giants like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft all offer CDNs, and smaller startups have targeted the Latin America region as an opportunity for growth in recent years.

$1.65 billion cloud platform Fastly, a key Cloudflare competitor, currently has points of presence in eight South American cities, with one planned for Mexico City coming soon, according to its website. Another CDN competitor, $15.8 billion Akamai, announced its intention to increase its presence in Latin America in 2019 with the acquisition of Sao Paulo-based cloud security firm Exceda.

As Cloudflare looks to expand in Latin America, Torales says it will rely on its existing partners to help. It already has relationships with businesses like IT services firm Alestra, cybersecurity company Cipher, and cyber firm NeoSecure in the area.

"We are already present," Torales said. "We are just going to be driving even more acceleration to our customers and to the Latin American market."

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