Zero-trust security startup SecureW2 lands $80M from Insight Partners to grow its passwordless authentication platform
In today’s digital age, the call for passwordless authentication has become increasingly urgent. Traditional passwords, despite their familiarity, are susceptible to hacking, and data breaches, and tend to leave users exasperated with the growing complexity of password rules. Passwordless authentication provides a safer and user-friendlier solution.
Substituting passwords with techniques like biometrics, smart cards, or mobile notifications, not only boosts security but also streamlines the login procedure. This contemporary authentication approach delivers a smooth, hassle-free, and dependable means of safeguarding our online accounts and sensitive data, all the more crucial at a time when cyber threats loom large.
However, despite that passwordless technology offers superior security protection for users, it faces adoption challenges, especially within enterprise settings. According to a Harris Poll study from 2021, approximately 48% of companies had not yet adopted passwordless authentication. One of the reasons for this hesitancy is the perception that they lack the necessary expertise and teams to effectively integrate it into their systems. And that’s where one tech startup comes in to help companies via its secure passwordless authentication platform.
Enter SecureW2, a zero-trust security startup that empowers organizations to ensure that only trusted users and devices gain access to their networks and applications. SecureW2 is a cloud-native cybersecurity company that specializes in delivering passwordless network security solutions to a diverse range of sectors, including enterprises, educational institutions, healthcare providers, service companies, and small businesses on a global scale. Through its platform, SecureW2’s fortifies network perimeters, effectively mitigating the risks associated with credential theft, and enhancing the overall user experience.
To further grow its platform, today, the Seattle-based SecureW2 announced it has secured $80 million in funding from Insight Partners, marking its first-ever funding round. In addition to accelerating the growth of its platform, SecureW2 plans to use the fresh capital infusion to increase its current team of 70 employees to about 80 by the end of the year.
Max Wolff, a principal at Insight Partners, emphasized SecureW2’s strong customer traction as a key factor in sealing the deal.
“Organizations are increasingly looking for alternatives to traditional passwords to authenticate access to networks and applications,” Wolff said via email. “SecureW2 provides an easy-to-use, cloud-native solution to address this need that’s already being used by hundreds of customers worldwide.”
Founded by CEO Bert Kashyap and Tom Rixom, SecureW2 started out as an open-source project to facilitate the connection of Windows devices to wired and wireless network infrastructures for IT departments with “non-Windows” identity environments. In an interview with TechCrunch, Kashyap said:
“It became clear to us that there was a need for a fresh software-as-a-service-based and low-friction approach for IT teams.”
Their motivation was driven by the rising threats of password-based attacks and the inadequacy of available enterprise passwordless authentication solutions. SecureW2 now provides a suite of passwordless technologies, including a certificate-issuing tool that replaces passwords and authorizes network access. Their platform offers compatibility with various operating systems, extending policy-based security through connections with cloud identity environments like Okta.
By eliminating user frustration and enhancing productivity, SecureW2 aims to yield both direct return on investment and security benefits. The company’s decision to seek funding, after previously operating as a profitable, bootstrapped entity, is motivated by the desire to expand its market outreach and invest in software development and R&D, particularly in areas related to its domain.
“From business and government organizations to colleges and school districts, password-based connectivity to network infrastructure leads to potential disconnects due to password rotation procedures,” Kashyap added. “Eliminating user frustration and productivity loss drives direct return on investment along with the security benefits of ensuring those passwords that are used to also access other apps and resources aren’t susceptible to compromise.”
This includes leveraging machine learning to predict device connections and providing customers with insights into security anomaly detection and capacity planning. SecureW2 currently serves nearly a thousand customers and “millions” of users. With plans to grow its team and foster adoption and expansion, the company is poised for a promising future.