A New Direction for Identity: Where Okta and Auth0 Come Together
The first time Okta CEO Todd McKinnon approached me about a merger in 2013, Auth0 was only five months old.
I couldn’t believe it. With only two paying customers and a team not much bigger, Auth0 was just getting started. Okta, by contrast, was already a power player in the identity space. Its CEO’s interest in our tiny operation affirmed our potential. But first, we needed to make more progress on that potential—and that’s what I told Todd.
Auth0 developed rapidly into a global company focused on building customizable, dev-focused identity products. This led to growth rates of 80% in 2018, and 70% in 2019 and 2020. Last year, we raised $120 million in funding and recruited more than 200 talented new people, making our team almost 900 strong. And this year, eight years after the initial request, we merged with Okta.
It feels like a natural part of our path. Okta’s and Auth0’s platforms are complementary, and together we can deliver greater flexibility, choice, and value to our customers. Now, what seems like a lifetime after our first conversation, there’s a prime opportunity for our two companies to define the future of identity together.
My journey so far
The importance of Auth0’s work continues to increase—as do the possibilities it can explore—which is why I'm staying on as CEO. I’m a builder by nature who loves to solve problems, especially through technology. Identity and access permeate all aspects of our lives: in our personal lives, and in our work. And there’s a lot to be done yet.
For many of my 13 years at Microsoft, I focused on making developers more productive. In empowering them to build faster, better, and more secure solutions. This process made me acutely aware of the challenges developers might face when deploying identity and security beyond the Microsoft environment.
I began to document these issues and explore solutions with Matias Woloski, the friend and fellow Argentinian who would eventually become my co-founder. We wrote a book on how to simplify identity for developers. But technology evolves fast, and before we knew it, we had co-authored a second edition that was twice the size of the first. We realized we could either write books forever, or we could build a product that would actually address this need in the market.
Leaving Microsoft was a big risk, but I knew if I didn’t take it, I would always regret it. So, with a whole continent separating us, Matias and I launched a small, distributed company with five developers. We called it Auth0.
Accelerating customer success
While we were hard at work building Auth0, Todd and co-founder Freddy Kerrest were also busy growing Okta into an essential technology that sits at the heart of digital transformation. They set out to establish an identity platform, starting with workforce identity and over time expanding into customer identity. Matias and I also recognized the important role identity plays in the technology stack, but we always came at it from the perspective of the developer.
All four co-founders share a similar vision for the identity market and solve for identity across all angles. Today, there are too many complex, fragmented CIAM offerings on the market. By joining forces, Okta and Auth0 will offer some of the greatest functionality and flexibility to businesses and developers. Together, we can achieve our goals more quickly and address every identity use case for our customers.
Auth0’s future with Okta
Along with our vision for the future of identity, the following three core values guide and govern our work ethic at Auth0:
- Give a Shit: We care about everything we do and everyone we serve, and we take pride in the products we build.
- N+1>N: We’re committed to continuous improvement and always being better, in both our offerings and our culture.
- One Team, One Score: Every member of the team is here for a reason, and no role is more essential than any other.
Okta’s five core values reflect a similar conviction, expressed differently:
- “Love our customers” and “Act with integrity” show how Okta cares.
- “Never stop innovating” is its mandate for continuous improvement.
- “Empower our people” and “Be transparent” are the measures that support strong teams in the organization.
Auth0 and Okta share other values as well, such as our longstanding commitment to diversity, inclusion, and social impact. Like Okta, our objective is a version of success that balances profit and purpose by making meaningful contributions to philanthropic causes.
I’m grateful when I look back on how far Auth0 has come. Joining forces with Okta now will allow us to scale our output and impact to provide identity solutions that are necessary to the world. I’m excited for the merger of our hard-working teams, our customers (both current and future), and every step on the journey ahead of us.