WorkOS Inc., a startup that helps enterprise software vendors build key application features faster, has raised $80 million in funding to expand its market presence.
WorkOS announced the funding round this morning. Greenoaks was the lead investor, and Lightspeed Ventures, Abstract Ventures and more than half a dozen angel investors also participated. WorkOS jointly disclosed that it had acquired venture-backed interface development startup Modulz.
When a company deploys a new line-of-business application, it needs to provide its employees with a convenient way to log into the application. To meet this requirement, enterprise software manufacturers provide their applications with pre-packaged functionality for handling employee login requests.
According to WorkOS, building user login features can often take software makers months of work. The startup offers a platform that it claims can complete the task in just a few days.
One of the biggest challenges in building the login functionality of an enterprise application is the need to support SSO or single sign-on. SSO is a feature that allows workers to log into multiple applications using a single set of login credentials. Many companies need this feature because it streamlines the user experience for employees and can help improve cybersecurity.
Companies use identity platforms such as Okta to provide SSO functionality to their employees. To support SSO, a software manufacturer must integrate its application with the identity platform used by its enterprise customers. Building the necessary integrations is a complicated process that takes months in some cases.
The WorkOS platform provides an application programming interface that encapsulates the intricate technical details involved in building SSO functionality. According to the startup, the API reduces the amount of custom code developers have to write. It supports more than a dozen identity platforms most commonly used by enterprises to provide SSO functionality.
Single sign-on support isn’t the only feature businesses need to ensure a streamlined app login experience for workers. Often, enterprise software manufacturers must also provide directory integration.
A directory is a program companies use to manage which employee can access which application and how. WorkOS offers a tool that makes it easier for software vendors to integrate their applications with their enterprise customers’ directory deployments. According to the startup, its platform allows an app to adjust user access permissions as requirements change.
Single sign-on support and directory integrations are “essential requirements for large organizations when evaluating and purchasing software,” WorkOS General Manager Michael Grinich said in a statement. blog post today. “Without these features, applications are not considered enterprise-ready, nor can they be adopted by larger customers, regardless of how much employees like or need a product. “
Even if a software product offers pre-packaged SSO support and directory integrations, setting up the employee login workflow can be complicated for a software manufacturer’s customers. WorkOS offers a console that promises to reduce complexity by centralizing workflow into a single interface.
WorkOS has built a customer base of over 200 companies since its launch in early 2020. Its customers would have include financial technology giant Stripe Inc. and Airtable Inc., a productivity startup that received a valuation of $11 billion last year. “Using WorkOS, these companies immediately accelerate their ability to sell to enterprise customers, resulting in faster sales and access to new markets,” Grinich said.
The acquisition of Modulz, which WorkOS detailed in conjunction with today’s funding announcement, could help the startup expand its value proposition for software makers. Modulz offers a cloud service that facilitates the task of designing application interfaces. WorkOS could potentially use the service to help companies more easily create login menus for their apps.
Modulz has also developed a number of popular open source design tools. The startup’s open source portfolio includes the Radix interface development framework, which is downloaded more than 4 million times per month.
In addition to providing advanced connection features, enterprise customers are increasingly expecting software vendors to make their products available in the public cloud. A startup called Tackle.io Inc. raised $100 million in December to simplify this task. Tackle’s platform accelerates the process of bringing a software product to the integrated solution markets of leading public cloud platforms.