Okta Ventures’ 3.5-Year Journey: Key Milestones and Investment Areas
We launched Okta Ventures 3.5 years ago at Oktane19, with a vision to support founders building companies enabled by identity, privacy, and security. Since then, we have invested in and supported more than 30 companies through technical integrations and go-to-market (GTM) support. We work with companies that feel the same passion for our goal to accelerate innovation within an industry that has become more important than ever.
Our operating philosophy with founders is simple: support technical integration into the Okta platform and accelerate their sales and operations by leveraging our deep bench of expertise. We operate with full transparency, speed, and the founder-first mentality that should be table stakes in venture. Now with investments across industries, countries, and continents and as we approach Oktane22, we’re reflecting on the accomplishments and successes we’ve forged with Okta Ventures portfolio companies and how we’ve created value for our shared customers, helping them connect people to technology.
Below is a rundown of our thematic investment areas with examples from some of the companies we have backed including video testimonials from our community. We’d love to see you at Oktane Nov. 8-10th where many of our portfolio companies will be present. Come by and see for yourself what we are building together with these amazing teams.
Enterprise readiness and compliance
Auth0’s team recently published a report on Enterprise Readiness detailing features B2B SaaS companies need to move upmarket and win enterprise customers. For a small- or medium-sized business (SMB), signing a deal with their first enterprise customer is a major milestone. However, doing business with large enterprises comes at a cost. Their needs are complicated, often requiring dedicated investments from both a GTM and product perspective. SMBs must wrestle with new challenges from onboarding to meeting technical demands. For most businesses, the opportunity for growth presented by an enterprise customer outweighs the complexity. And that’s why becoming “enterprise ready” is one of the most widely discussed challenges in B2B technology.
Drata supports Okta customers like Netapp to become SOC2 compliant–a critical stage gate in enterprise readiness. Drata’s solution automates the SOC2 process with continuous control monitoring, evidence collection, and personnel onboarding and asset tracking. This frees up the Netapp team operations and engineering team to focus on product development and other priorities that affect the bottom line.
Check out this video from Cerby (another Okta Ventures portfolio company) to see how other Okta customers utilize Drata to smoothly onboard enterprise customers.
Kandji is an Apple device management company utilizing single sign-on (SSO) for enterprise readiness. As Tim Gunto, Senior Technical Product Manager at Kandji, said, “Once we built Kandji’s core product, we thought about how we could appeal to larger businesses. It really does start with authentication, as that’s the first touchpoint a user has with an application. As we grew, we realized that we had to include an SSO solution that could cover a good amount of the market.”
Learn how Kandji has used Okta Workflows, in particular, to help its customers reach bigger customers.
Allbirds is one shared customer between Kandji and Okta that is gaining significant value from our integration. In the words of the Allbirds IT team, “Okta and Kandji are raising the bar for identity management and MDM [mobile device management].”
Datagrail’s Request Manager product is used by numerous Okta customers like Ovestock.com and Restoration Hardware. Okta itself even uses Datagrail internally to manage privacy requests. Watch Tim McIntyre, Okta’s Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Privacy and Product, speak to how Datagrail helps with GDPR compliance.
Data as the next frontier in security
The number and variety of data assets per organization are exploding. Variety and fragmentation lead to new security risks with no ability to monitor employee and contractor application data interactions. Okta Ventures has invested across a wide array of new tools that safeguard data in the enterprise.
Okta and Immuta enable you to extend your current Okta user authentication and authorization system to control access to cloud data platforms. Immuta has integrated with the Okta Integration Network and System for Cross-Domain Identity Management (SCIM), an open standard that enables automated user provisioning to multiple cloud services. This enables Immuta and Okta to extend identity management and authorization to data and analytics platforms, such as Snowflake, Databricks, and Starburst. The Center for New Data is one shared customer between Okta and Immuta that has found significant benefits from both solutions.
HYCU is a developer of multi-cloud data management software specializing in multi-cloud data backup and recovery as a service. When customers combine the power of Okta’s identity management platform with HYCU’s multi-cloud data protection platform, organizations can be confident that data protection workloads are protected against ransomware events. Only those who are authorized to manage air-gapped and immutable backups have access to data protection workloads and can set backup and recovery policies.
Dig Security gives customers a picture of a cloud customer’s data stores, applications, identities, and infrastructures in cloud environments, and how they are all connected. With Dig, customers are able to discover, visualize, and secure their cloud data. Dig accelerates assessments of how data security posture can be enforced through complementary data security controls to reduce business risks. Okta enables Dig’s data governance by ensuring assets have assigned owners and access is regularly reviewed.
Identity as the new security perimeter
Identity is the first line of defense for an enterprise’s overall security. Okta Ventures has backed multiple startups that are tackling identity-enabled security issues from the ground up. These startups ensure users are authenticated, devices are secure, and appropriate access is given to critical resources for the right amount of time.
Adaptive Shield offers a security posture management platform that helps enterprises manage their cloud solutions. Okta enables Adaptive Shield to reduce risk caused by over-privileged user access and streamline user-2-app access audit reviews by gaining consolidated visibility of user accounts, permissions, and privileged activities across your SaaS estate.
Hunters gives security teams the ability to automatically identify and respond to incidents that matter across an organization’s attack surface.
Tessian is an email security platform that detects and prevents enterprise data loss. Combining Okta’s Identity platform and OLOID’s retrofit access control products helps organizations modernize the front-end user experience and the backend integrations and data visualization of physical access. Working together, Okta and OLOID can help organizations upgrade to mobile access and implement a unified cyber-physical digital identity while leveraging existing physical and cyber security infrastructure.
Cerby, mentioned above, provides a platform that secures unmanaged apps by automating manual processes and leveraging AI.
In addition to security use cases, Okta Ventures works with innovative startups that enable new customer experiences.
Spruce builds decentralized identity tooling and self-sovereign user data storage for Web3 users and organizations by allowing people to use their existing keys to sign in with Ethereum, manage their digital identity, and use private storage. Watch the video below to hear why Wayne Chang, the founder of Spruce, decided to list on Auth0 marketplace:
Okta Ventures is also investing in new and compelling online commerce solutions. The one-click ecommerce platform from Skipify is designed to reduce friction in the checkout process for consumers who are looking to purchase goods from an ecommerce merchant.
Financial services organizations must reimagine their products and services and battle an unceasing barrage of attempted cyber attacks while ensuring regulatory compliance. Okta Ventures has invested across a number of startups with Fintech applications to better serve customers, collaborate with partners, and improve employee productivity.
Bureau offers a suite of identity verification, compliance, and fraud prevention solutions.
Passthrough is a developer of fund-closing software designed to seamlessly manage subscription document distribution, execution, and compliance.
Productiv’s analytics platform enables organizations and CFOs to gain a full picture of how their employees are using enterprise applications to cut costs.
As we look toward the future we are excited to see founders building in numerous categories where Okta can provide value from API security, crypto compliance, and pen-testing, to security training and more. Additionally, we are excited to be investing in new regions like Asia and Latin America and supporting eligible startups through free product offerings from Auth0 for Startups and Okta for Startups programs.
We couldn’t be more inspired by Okta Ventures’ founders and are humbled by their tireless pursuit of finding joint value with our customers. To anyone joining Oktane22, remember to drop by the Okta Ventures Pavilion to meet the teams directly or learn more at www.okta.com/okta-ventures