Customer Identity & Access Management (CIAM) , Security Operations

FusionAuth Receives $65M to Safeguard New Identity Domains

First-Ever Outside Investment Will Allow CIAM Provider to Better Authenticate Users
FusionAuth Receives $65M to Safeguard New Identity Domains
Brian Pontarelli, co-founder and CEO, FusionAuth (Image: FusionAuth)

A Colorado-based customer identity platform hauled in $65 million to more effectively identify and authenticate users with government IDs or mobile phones.

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FusionAuth founder and CEO Brian Pontarelli said the growth equity investment from Updata Partners will enable the company to better serve organizations in places such as Africa that don't leverage email to the same extent as businesses in the United States and Europe. The company will also use its first-ever outside investment to expand its registration feature set to meet the needs of clients with complicated registration flows (see: ForgeRock, Ping, IBM, Okta Top KuppingerCole CIAM Tech Eval).

"We've been growing very rapidly," Pontarelli told Information Security Media Group. "We're in a high-growth industry. There's more and more demand every day for this, and we want to capitalize on that and really solidify our spot in this market and grow as quickly as possible."

Revamping Registration Requirements

Registration requirements vary significantly across organizations, Pontarelli said. Some customers require just usernames and passwords while others require addresses and taxable income and want them certified and validated against customer systems or government ID systems. He said registration is "a really big pain point in the industry," which constantly evolving as new customer needs emerge.

"The market is growing very rapidly, and we want to grow along with it."
– Brian Pontarelli, founder and CEO, FusionAuth

The company also plans to use the Updata Partners investment to further develop its cloud-delivered offering for organizations that don't want to run their own infrastructure or would prefer handing the management of servers off to a third party. Pontarelli said FusionAuth wants to make its cloud platform more scalable, build out new features and offer more functionality around monitoring and observability.

"Having the support for both a downloadable version and a cloud version really sets us apart from almost every other company out there," Pontarelli said. "We cover both pieces of the market. So that's another huge benefit."

FusionAuth wants to make it easier for customers to bring their own monitoring, observability and content delivery network technology to the company's cloud so that no sacrifices of prior investments are required, Pontarelli said. The company also will roll out zero-downtime upgrades from the FusionAuth cloud, according to Pontarelli.

Expanding the Customer Base

The company currently has more than 450 customers including Frontdoor, Oppenheimer, Stihl and ConsumerDirect, and Pontarelli said FusionAuth plans to use the Updata Partners investment to add personnel across sales, partnerships, channel, brand market and search engine optimization. FusionAuth works with a variety of businesses from startups to large enterprises across a dozen industries including gaming.

FusionAuth was founded in 2018 and expects to grow from 26 employees to more than 50 employees a year from now, according to Pontarelli. The company competes against stand-alone customer identity offerings from Auth0 as well as platform plays from Microsoft Azure Active Directory, Amazon Cognito and Google Firebase, Pontarelli said.

From a metrics standpoint, Pontarelli said, FusionAuth will closely track top-line revenue growth, new logo addition, net revenue retention and the downloads of the company's free community edition, which currently number more than 13 million. Pontarelli said the community edition provides a path for cash-strapped individuals to eventually become paying FusionAuth customers.

"We're already in a growth stage and have paying customers," Pontarelli said. "We've been profitable and bootstrapped. So now let's accelerate this. The market is growing very rapidly, and we want to grow along with it."

About the Author

Michael Novinson

Michael Novinson

Managing Editor, Business, ISMG

Novinson is responsible for covering the vendor and technology landscape. Prior to joining ISMG, he spent four and a half years covering all the major cybersecurity vendors at CRN, with a focus on their programs and offerings for IT service providers. He was recognized for his breaking news coverage of the August 2019 coordinated ransomware attack against local governments in Texas as well as for his continued reporting around the SolarWinds hack in late 2020 and early 2021.

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