WorkOS raises $80 million to add enterprise features like SSO to apps – TechCrunch
WorkOS, a platform that enables developers to add enterprise features such as single sign-on (SSO) and directory synchronization to applications, today announced it has raised $80 million in a a Series B funding round led by Greenoaks with participation from Lachy Groom, Lightspeed Ventures and Abstract Ventures. The round’s close coincides with WorkOS’ first acquisition: Modulz, the company behind the Radix user interface (UI) framework. In a Q&A email with TechCrunch, CEO Michael Grinich said the money and purchase will support WorkOS’ hiring and product development initiatives.
Grinich founded WorkOS in 2019, about three years after leaving Nylas, the eponymous company behind open-source email client Nylas, after Nylas shut down the app and moved into retail infrastructure. He said he was prompted to start WorkOS by the challenge of building enterprise systems and software such as single sign-on, audit logs, access control, and more. A recent survey of business development managers found that 85% had a backlog of one to 20 mobile apps, illustrating the time-consuming nature of business app development.
“There is a lot of fragmentation between the services used by IT. In identity systems alone, you have Okta, Azure AD, ADFS, OneLogin, Ping, Shibboleth, and dozens more,” Grinich said, pointing to a candid blog post by Roberta Arcoverde, director of the engineering at Stack Overflow, who admitted that it took a team of three Stack Overflow engineers three months to add SSO to the company’s commercial and enterprise platforms. “This fragmentation is a headache for developers who want to integrate across systems. And that’s where WorkOS comes in.”
WorkOS offers a set of building blocks for adding enterprise functionality to applications, such as OAuth (to enable login with third-party providers including Google and Microsoft), email “magic links” for authentication passwordless and support for SAML-based providers (which allow users to use one set of credentials across different websites). The platform can also help sync an app with company employee directory systems, Grinich says, with a dashboard that lets customers manage connected identity providers and directories.
“WorkOS helps companies become ‘enterprise ready’. This allows businesses to scale up quickly and unlock revenue for them efficiently. This is a big deal for startups suited for the post-product market,” Grinich said.
Grinich says WorkOS now has more than 200 paying customers, including Vercel, Stripe, Scale, and Airtable. While hesitant when asked about revenue numbers, he said the latest funding round was “very competitive”, noting that it brings WorkOS’ total raised to around $100 million.
“We sometimes hear developers compare us to Auth0, but they’re focused exclusively on authentication as WorkOS seeks to solve the larger challenge of becoming ‘enterprise-ready,'” Grinich said, responding to a question on competitors and the addressable market. “We haven’t seen a slowdown here, but we’re also an infrastructure company. Our growth is the aggregate sum of the growth of all our customers.
The The acquisition of Modulz telegrams the ambitions of WorkOS. Founded in 2018 by Colm Tuite and Stephen Haney, Dublin-based Modulz, which had raised $5.4 million from investors including LocalGlobe and Frontline Ventures, sold a user interface design tool for websites , applications and services. Modulz is perhaps best known for its aforementioned open source projects, Radix and Stitches, which provide components for creating various design systems.
With the takeover, the entire Modulz team has joined WorkOS’ 40 employees, Grinich said, where they will continue to work on user interface components and support open source efforts.