Moonfare: An agile, rapidly growing alternative asset investment platform that stays safe and compliant with Okta
years from 8 to 200 employees with easy onboarding from Lifecycle Management. 0 to $1 billion under asset management
months of work per app saved by Okta’s pre-build integrations
minutes of manual provisioning work per app saved for each onboarding
hours of manual provisioning cut in a year
- Innovating the world of finance
- Matching agility with security
- Finding the right tools for the job
- Delivering more security without compromising the user experience
- Empowering partners and customers alike
Moonfare offers an innovative software that enables investors to navigate the marketplace of private funds. To stay safe and compliant while also iterating and publishing software with the agility of a startup, Moonfare wanted to leverage the capabilities and experience of a trustworthy technology partner.
To determine whether Okta was the right fit for the company, Moonfare examined Okta’s approach to software security and resilience and found that it aligns with its requirements. Additionally, by deploying Okta for security and to streamline internal processes through automation, Moonfare engineers can focus on delivering an excellent experience to users.
By connecting Okta to its HR system and integrating it with Single Sign-On and Lifecycle Management, Moonfare created a smooth and fast onboarding process. Meanwhile, the company leverages Adaptive Multi-Factor Authentication to prevent account takeover for customers, while delivering a frictionless experience.
By eliminating the need to provision 30 applications manually, Moonfare is well equipped to continue its hyper-growth journey. 200 employees and counting can access applications easily and securely, while MFA helps them to remain secure and compliant while focusing on innovation.
Next, Moonfare aims to launch a public API, using API Access Management to secure it, to enable partners to leverage some of its functionalities to deliver more convenience to customers around the world.
We’re always pushing for innovation in our sector, and our efforts are paying off: In three years, Moonfare grew from zero to managing $1 billion under asset management, for 5,000 active users. By helping us remain agile and secure, Okta has played an important role in our success, and this is just the beginning.
Umut Koseali, VP of Engineering and Technology, Moonfare
The world of finance conjures a well-known image: that of a busy stock exchange, where suited buyers and sellers negotiate prices and trade investments. But the private market is a whole different story. Instead of buying shares of a company because it is valuable, individuals help companies generate value by investing in its early stages before the companies are available to the general public. Funds raised might be used to develop new products and technologies, expand working capital, or make acquisitions, and once the company opens up for initial public offering, it distributes that profit with its initial investors. But there’s a catch: most private equity firms typically look for investors who are willing to commit as much as $10 million, which makes private equity not easily accessible for the average investor. That’s what Moonfare aims to change, it enables individuals to invest in the private market like institutions.
Moonfare offers an innovative software that functions as a curated marketplace for investors to find top-tier private funds they might be interested in, and invest in them with lower minimums, some can be as low as $50,000. Investors can sign up for a Moonfare account within minutes and once qualified, they can browse current and upcoming funds and find the right opportunity to achieve their goals. By making private investing more efficient, Moonfare also makes it less costly and, therefore, more accessible for the general public.
But as a financial organisation, Moonfare focuses on offering not just convenience to customers, but also security of its clients and data. “This is a trust-enabled business, which means that our users trust us to with their savings and we take that responsibility very seriously. That’s why performance, security and resilience are the pillars of our engineering culture,” explains Umut Koseali, VP of Engineering and Technology at Moonfare. To achieve this while navigating a highly-regulated industry, Umut’s team takes strict measures to protect users’ financial data by carefully creating the right technology to support Moonfare’s operations.
“To stay safe and compliant while also iterating and publishing software with the agility of a startup, we carefully select technology providers with capabilities and experience that we can leverage to extend our capabilities, instead of reinventing the wheel. And when it comes to Identity and Access Management, Okta is by far the best choice.”
Selecting the right tools for matching agility with security
Having worked with Okta at different companies before joining Moonfare, Umut was personally involved in the selection of Okta for securing the identity-related processes of the company. He believes that to navigate the heavily regulated financial market, his team needs full visibility and effective tools to manage who has access to what, and that Okta has the capabilities to do this. Nevertheless, to determine whether Okta was the right fit for Moonfare, Umut’s team carefully examined Okta’s approach to software security and resilience to confirm whether it aligned with Moonfare’s requirements.
“We are very picky about what partners we work with, and we have a strict framework for assessing how they reduce cyber risks to critical infrastructure,” shares Umut. “When we looked at Okta, we found that it fulfils our security requirements, which means that we can improve our security posture against cyber threats.”
Okta's highly resilient and secure service with 99.99% uptime and a host of certifications was the right tool for the job. Once the decision was made, a task force of engineers was created to implement Okta internally, using the available Okta documentation for guidance. “We integrated functionalities such as Single-Sign On really easily. Our full rollout took less than one month, and this is considering that we created connectors for our internal custom tools used for managing data and some of our platform’s capabilities,” says Umut.
Supporting hyper-growth with faster, easier processes
With Single Sign-On up and running, Moonfare enables employees to log in to all applications they need from one centralised place. This means there’s no replicating of passwords across all of Moonfare's apps, making it more secure. It also results in no IT and employee time spent unlocking accounts when a password is forgotten.
“Automated Lifecycle Management is extremely helpful for onboarding because we can group users based on departments and roles, so when new employees come in they can be assigned to a user group and automatically gain access to all applications associated with their type of work,” says Umut.
Okta's pre-built integrations saved Moonfare’s admins one to three months of work per app to integrate, and 20 to 30 minutes of manual provisioning work per app when a new employee joined. When Moonfare's growth from 100 to 200 employees in a year is considered, Okta saved 500 hours of manual provisioning effort.
To further streamline internal processes, Moonfare integrated Okta to its user identity repository, Bamboo HR. This way, new employees can be provisioned automatically to Moonfare’s user directory and the applications that are relevant to their role, as soon as they join the company. Previously, a ticketing system was used to provision every application individually, with each ticket taking roughly 30 minutes to complete for an IT admin. With Moonfare's 100 users per year growth, this capability saved Moonfare 50 hours of administrative time a year and now automates deprovisioning when an employee leaves, improving security. But it quickly became clear to the Moonfare team that this method wouldn’t keep up with the company’s fast-paced growth.
Umut joined Moonfare in 2018 as their eighth employee. By 2020, when Moonfare started deploying Okta, he was part of a team of 80 people. By 2021, that team had already doubled in size. “Each engineer needs access to 15 applications, and considering the speed in which we’re growing, provisioning them manually would entail a considerable overhead, which we’ve effectively eliminated thanks to Okta,” says Umut.
Enabling a seamless and secure investment experience
Now, Moonfare also leverages Okta’s Customer Identity and Access Management capabilities to strengthen the resilience of its software, freeing up its engineers to focus on delivering excellent performance for users. Having enabled Adaptive Multi-Factor Authentication and build-on functionalities, such as SMS factors, Moonfare prevents user account takeovers without compromising on user experience. “Securing our customers’ information is a top priority for us. With a couple of clicks on Okta, we could enable strong authentication for them and secondary defence mechanisms that are extremely effective,” explains Umut.
Next, Moonfare aims to launch a public API to enable third-party partners to leverage functionalities that Moonfare is developing to drive more innovation in its industry, such as visualisation tools that enable users to see how their investments are performing with just one click. As always, security is a strong consideration, so Moonfare aims to use Okta’s API Access Management to secure those API endpoints and translations.
“We’re always pushing for innovation in our sector, and our efforts are paying off,” says Umut. “In three years, Moonfare grew from zero to managing 1 billion dollars under asset management, for 5,000 active users. By helping us remain agile and secure, Okta has played an important role in our success, and this is just the beginning.”