Cloudflare’s first year in Lisbon
A year ago I wrote about the opening of Cloudflare’s office in Lisbon, it’s hard to believe that a year has flown by. At the time I wrote:
Lisbon’s combination of a large and growing existing tech ecosystem, attractive immigration policy, political stability, high standard of living, as well as logistical factors like time zone (the same as the UK) and direct flights to San Francisco made it the clear winner.
We landed in Lisbon with a small team of transplants from other Cloudflare offices. Twelve of us moved from the UK, US and Singapore to bootstrap here. Today we are 35 people with another 10 having accepted offers; we’ve almost quadrupled in a year and we intend to keep growing to around 80 by the end of 2020.
If you read back to my description of why we chose Lisbon only one item hasn’t turned out quite as we expected. Sure enough TAP Portugal does have direct flights to San Francisco but the pandemic put an end to all business flying worldwide for Cloudflare. We all look forward to getting back to being able to visit our colleagues in other locations.
The pandemic also put us in the odd position of needing to move from one empty office to another. Back in January the Cloudflare Lisbon office was in the Chiado and only had capacity for about 14 people. With our rapid growth we moved, in February, to a larger, temporary location on Avenida da Liberdade which had room for about 25 people.
Leaving the Chiado
And in early April, we moved to our longer term office on Praça Marquês de Pombal. Of course, by that time the State of Emergency had been declared in Portugal and the office move took place in our absence. But it sits waiting for our return sometime in early 2021.
The team that landed in Lisbon covered Customer Support, Security, IT, Technology, and Emerging Technology and Incubation, but, as we suspected, we’ve grown in many other departments and the rest of Cloudflare is realizing how much Lisbon and Portugal have to offer. In addition to the original team we now have people in SRE, Payroll, Accounting, Trust and Safety, People and Places, Product Management and Infrastructure.
View from the Cloudflare Lisbon office
Despite the pandemic we’re continuing to invest in Lisbon with 24 open roles in Customer Support, Infrastructure, People and Places, Engineering, Accounting and Finance, Security, Business Intelligence, Product Management and Emerging Technology and Incubation.
As I said in an interview with AICEP earlier this year “É nosso objetivo construir em Lisboa um dos maiores escritórios da Cloudflare” (“It’s our objective to build in Lisbon one of the major Cloudflare offices”). You can read the full Portuguese-language interview here. We continue to believe that Lisbon is a vital part of Cloudflare’s growth.
I’ve spent a huge amount of my career on aircraft and the last few months have felt very odd, but I couldn’t have been happier to find myself temporarily stuck in Lisbon. No doubt we’ll all be traveling again but this last year has confirmed my impression that Lisbon is a great place to live.
I asked our team what they’d found they love about living in Lisbon and Portugal. They came back with pasteis de nata, sunshine every day, the jacaranda trees, feijoada, empada de galinha, Joker, Super Bock, chocolate mousse being an everyday staple, Maria biscuits, quality fresh produce, dolphins, lizards in the gardens, MB Way, ovos moles de Aveiro, so great that only ~30/40min from here you get such nice beaches like the ones in Setubal, Sintra, Cascais, Sesimbra, bica, sardines, the Alentejo coastline, the chicken from Bonjardim, family friendliness and how nice it is to raise children here, fast, reliable and cheap Internet access, and so much more.
If you’d like to join us please visit our careers page for Lisbon.