Okta’s New $75 Million Could Have Channel Impact

Okta’s vice president of channel sales says his company’s $75 million in new financing from investors will help extend the reach and revenue of its channel program.

Okta announced the new funding this week, marking the total investment at $230 million. The enterprise identity management company is in its sixth year.

Bill Fitzgerald, Okta’s vice president of channel sales, didn’t give detailed plans to Channel Partners on Friday, but he reiterated that his program is looking to expand its global footprint. The company’s channel already has a presence in North America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.

“On the channel side, we’re going to continue to invest in the growth of our business in region, in territory,” Fitzgerald said. “So, with regional [systems integrators], with global SIs, with security service providers, with larger [sic] resellers, with identity management consulting firms.”

Okta takes credit for starting the Identity-and-Access-Management-as-a-Service (IDaaS) space. CEO Todd McKinnon and COO Frederic Kerrest founded the company in 2009 after spending five years at Salesforce. They left the cloud-computing pioneer after seeing the emergence of cloud applications.

“Frederic and Todd saw the opportunity,” Fitzgerald said. “‘Hey, there’s the emergence of all these cloud applications. How are you going to manage the process of provisioning and deprovisioning and enabling a great user experience from what’s known as single sign-on?’”

He says there’s more marketplace pull for identity management – how a company oversees and manages the security of applications for employees, customers and business partners.

“We help businesses connect people and technology to make it more secure and a better user experience,” he said.

Gartner has named Okta the leader in IDaaS two years in a row. Okta most recently announced an adaptive multi-factor authentification (MFA) product, designed to protect login information for cloud applications.

Speaking generally, Fitzgerald said the new money would help expand Okta’s efforts “across the organization.” The company’s solution-provider partner program is two years old.

“It enables us to continue to grow,” he said.

McKinnon discussed the estimated $1 billion valuation of his company and Okta’s prospects of going public in a Bloomberg interview.

“We’re excited to move forward, build our company and go public, and not limit our options with a certain round of funding,” McKinnon said in the article.

He said the vision for Okta is something deeper than the launch of an IPO.

“The objective is to build an independent software company that is a long-lasting organization,” he said. “This isn’t just about, ‘Hey, let’s go public,’ or anything else. We want to build an independent software company.”

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