$10 billion identity startup Okta launches a $50 million venture capital fund to invest in startups using blockchain and AI

  • At its customer conference Oktane, cloud identity manager Okta announced a $US50 million fund to invest in the next generation of identity and authentication startups.
  • The fund will focus on early-stage investments in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and blockchain startups.
  • The fund’s first investment is in Trusted Key, a blockchain-based digital identity platform that had previously raised $US3 million.

Today, cloud identity management provider Okta unveiled Okta Ventures, a $US50 million in-house venture fund focusing on early-stage identity and authentication startups that use artificial intelligence, machine learning, and blockchain technology.

Announced on-stage at the company’s annual customer conference in San Francisco, Okta Ventures’ first investment is in Trusted Key, a blockchain-based digital identity company that had previously raised $US3 million. While Okta isn’t disclosing the amount, the investment speaks to the company’s interest in using blockchain to improve its flagship tool, which helps customers log in to multiple work apps with just their corporate username and password.

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The company says that the fund will invest in existing Okta partners in addition to other identity management startups. Portfolio companies will have access to Okta’s products for the first year, in addition to the ability to build products that integrate with Okta’s technology.

“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,” said Okta Cofounder and COO Frederic Kerrest in a prepared statement. “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.”

According to a TechCrunch report, Okta Ventures will invest between $US250,000 and $US2 million in eight to 10 early-stage businesses per year.

Okta went public in 2017 in one of the first pure-cloud subscription-based company IPOs. It raised $US231 million from Sequoia, Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock, Khosla Ventures, and Floodgate before going public.

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