Auth0 Gets “Unicorn” Status as It Raises $103M for Security Tools

Auth0, a Bellevue, WA-based developer of user identification and login tools for software makers and large businesses, announced Monday it has raised $103 million in new financing. Under the terms of the deal, investors valued Auth0 at more than $1 billion, putting it among the ranks of tech startup “unicorns.”

Sapphire Ventures, based in Silicon Valley, led the investment. Other deal participants included Bessemer Venture Partners, K9 Ventures, Meritech Capital, Trinity Ventures, and World Innovation Lab.

Auth0 is restocking its war chest to take on a crowded field of rivals that includes IBM (NYSE: IBM); Duo Security, which Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) acquired for $2.35 billion last year; and Okta (NASDAQ: OKTA), which went public in 2017 and is valued at more than $12 billion.

Auth0 says it has about 7,000 customers scattered across more than 70 countries. Together, they use the company’s cloud-based software to facilitate more than 2.5 billion secure logins a month, the firm says.

Clients can use Auth0’s products to manage user authentication for software applications and mobile devices, according to company materials. Its customers include News Corp. (NASDAQ: NWS), Atlassian (NASDAQ: TEAM), and ATB Financial.

Anders Ranum, managing director at Sapphire Ventures, says in a news release that Auth0 has developed a “highly sophisticated cybersecurity platform that’s universal, scalable, and extensible. The company is … offering a platform that any company can use to protect digital identities.”

Launched in 2013, Auth0 has now raised more than $210 million in outside funding. That total includes past financings of $55 million in May 2018—a round Sapphire Ventures also led—and $30 million in June 2017.

Auth0 says it currently employs nearly 475 people, and it has added 316 employees over the past two years. It currently has satellite offices in Buenos Aires, London, Sydney, and Tokyo.

The term unicorn refers to a company that private investors have given a valuation of $1 billion or more. Thirty-eight technology and internet unicorns went public in 2018, reportedly a near-record annual amount for such companies. The group includes Seattle-based Avalara (NYSE: AVLR), which went public in June.

The pattern of tech unicorns holding initial public offerings has continued this year, headlined by three companies based in the San Francisco Bay Area: Uber (NYSE: UBER), Lyft (NASDAQ: LYFT), and Pinterest (NYSE: PINS).

In addition to Auth0, other Seattle-area unicorns include Convoy, OfferUp, and Outreach.

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