Scytale grabs $5M Series A for application-to-application identity management

Enterprise

Scytale, a startup that wants to bring identity and access management to application-to-application activities, announced a $5 million Series A round today.

The round was led by Bessemer Venture Partners, a return investor which led the company’s previous $3 million round in 2018. Bain Capital Ventures, TechOperators and Work-Bench are also participating in this round.

The company wants to bring the same kind of authentication that individuals are used to having with a tool like Okta to applications and services in a cloud native environment. “What we’re focusing on is trying to bring to market, a capability for large enterprises going through this transition to cloud native computing to evolve the existing methods of application to application authentication, so that it’s much more flexible and scalable,” Sunil James, company CEO told TechCrunch.

To help with this, the company has developed the open source, cloud native project, Spiffe, that is managed by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). The project is designed to provide identity and access management for application-to-application communication in an open source framework.

The idea is that as companies transition to a containerized, cloud native approach to application delivery, there needs to a smooth automated way for applications and services to prove they are legitimate very quickly in much the same way individuals provide a username and password to access a website. This could be, for example, as applications pass through API gateways, or as automation drives the use of multiple applications in a workflow.

Webscale companies like Google and Netflix have developed mechanisms to make this work in-house, but it’s been out of reach of most large enterprise companies. Scytale wants to bring this capability to authenticate services and applications to any company.

In addition to the funding announcement, the company also announced Scytale Enterprise, a tool that provides a commercial layer on top of the open source tools that the company has developed. The enterprise version helps companies, who might not have the personnel to deal with the open source version on their own by providing training, consulting and support services.

Bain Capital Venture’s Enrique Salem sees a startup solving a big problem for companies who are moving to cloud native environments and need this kind of authentication.”In an increasingly complex and fragmented enterprise IT environment, Scytale has not only built Spiffe’s amazing open-source community but has also delivered a commercial offering to address hybrid cloud authentication challenges faced by Fortune 500 identity and access management engineering teams,” Salem said in a statement.

The company, which is based in the Bay area, launched in 2017 and currently has 24 employees.

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