Identity authentication startup Auth0 raises $103M as another Seattle company reaches unicorn status – GeekWire
Another Seattle-area startup just reached a billion-dollar valuation as Auth0 announced a big $103 million funding round on Monday.
Based in Bellevue, Wash. and founded in 2013, Auth0 helps developers build identity authentication capabilities into their applications. More than 7,000 customers such as Atlassian, SPgroup, fuboTV, and others across 70-plus countries use Auth0 to secure their web, mobile, and legacy apps.
Total funding to date is more than $210 million for Auth0, which said its valuation has now surpassed $1 billion. Seattle sales automation startup Outreach also recently reached unicorn status; other Seattle companies in that class include trucking startup Convoy; pet-sitting platform Rover; and used goods marketplace OfferUp.
Auth0 combines existing login and identity verification options into a few lines of code that developers can quickly add to their applications. Its platform includes services like single sign-on, two-factor authentication, password-free login capabilities and the ability to detect password breaches.
As companies add dozens of internal and external cloud services to their enterprise software toolboxes, ensuring security and compliance across all those services becomes much harder, and single sign-on products help manage that complexity.
“This Series E funding is validation that what we are doing and the platform we are providing are imperative for the success of our customers,” Eugenio Pace, Auth0 CEO and co-founder, said in a statement. “Businesses cannot afford a data breach, and this investment is a key indicator that identity management is an industry worth investing in.”
Auth0 said it “continues to double customer growth and revenue year-over-year.” The company competes with various other big players: Okta went public in 2016 and has been growing steadily, and Pace’s former employer Microsoft also does business in this market with its Active Directory product. Other similar startups include Onfido, Socure, Evident, Jumio, and more. McKinsey estimates the ID-verification-as-a-service market will reach $16-to-20 billion by 2022.
Pace got his start as a tech entrepreneur in his native Argentina, where his first startup didn’t quite take off the way Auth0 did. He moved on to multiple roles at Microsoft over a 12-and-a-half-year period, became a U.S. citizen and decided it was time to gamble again on starting something.
Pace helped co-found the company in 2013 and took over as CEO in December 2017. He was a finalist for Big Tech CEO of the Year at last month’s GeekWire Awards.
Existing investor Sapphire Ventures, which also led the company’s $55 million Series D funding in May 2018, led the Series E round. Other previous investors Bessemer Venture Partners, K9 Ventures, Trinity Ventures, Meritech Capital, and World Innovation Lab also participated.
Auth0 is an example of a Seattle startup raising big swaths of cash from Bay Area investors, an increasingly-common trend.
“You can see Auth0’s ethos in the product itself — a highly sophisticated cybersecurity platform that’s universal, scalable, and extensible,” Anders Ranum, managing director at Sapphire Ventures, said in a statement. “The company is changing the approach to business by offering a platform that any company can use to protect digital identities.”
Auth0 is currently ranked No. 10 on the GeekWire 200, our index of top Pacific Northwest startups. The $103 million cash infusion is the second-largest investment round for a Seattle-area startup this year, behind Outreach’s $114 million round last month, according to PitchBook data. Auth0 employs nearly 475 people across five offices worldwide; it has added 316 employees in the past two years and just opened a new floor at its Bellevue HQ.
Forbes previously predicted that Auth0 would reach unicorn status. There are 350 unicorn companies worldwide, according to CBInsights, with nearly 40 startups reaching that milestone in 2019. Recode reported that 57 companies became unicorns in 2017.