Okta Launches $50 Million Venture Fund, Debuts with a Blockchain Startup

The firm will invest in startups working in identity solution domain.

Identity management solution provider Okta has launched a $50 million venture fund to support early-stage startups working on artificial intelligence, machine learning, and blockchain technology.

In the press release published on April 3, the company unveiled that it has already made its first investment on a blockchain company called Trusted Key. The company did not provide any figures involved.

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Trusted Key earlier raised $3 million to develop its blockchain-based digital identity solution.

Dubbed as Okta Ventures, the fund will focus its reach to the companies developing next-generation identity, security, and privacy solutions.

Commenting on the new fund, Frederic Kerrest, COO of the company, said: “In line with Okta’s vision of enabling any organization to use any technology, Okta Ventures will invest in the growing ecosystem of startups tackling issues like identity, security, and privacy.”

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Apart from the monetary backing, Okta will also provide its portfolio companies access to its software, SDK, API designs along with other expertise and marketing opportunities.

“Beyond investing in industry-wide innovation, we also recognize how valuable these advancements can be for our customers, who are often looking for solutions to some of the hard problems these companies are solving,” Kerrest added.

“We expect the partnerships with our portfolio companies to extend our platform, and we’re committed to providing significant value to these early-stage startups. Trusted Key is a perfect example of a young company working on a big idea, and we look forward to collaborating to shape the future of identity.”

Bringing Decentralization for Security

Trusted Key was established during the boom in the blockchain space in 2016 by former executives of big Silicon Valley tech firms. The company leverages blockchain technology to develop an enterprise-specific identity solution.

“Decentralized identity marks a profound change for the identity industry and we believe we are in the early stages of this change,” Amit Jasuja, CEO of Trusted Key, said in his statement. “Joining the Okta Ventures portfolio gives us a chance to access more than just funds to build our business, as Okta’s experience and depth of knowledge in the identity space will be invaluable as we move forward.”

With a slowdown in initial coin offerings (ICOs), venture capital firms are gearing up to back blockchain companies. Pantera Capitals recently secured $160 million for its new venture fund, aiming to invest in blockchain companies.

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