Photo: Flickr/Sybren A. Stüvel
Eric Olden sold his first startup at age 29 for $135 million and he knew then that he wanted to start a new company, build it bigger and take it public.Flash forward about a decade and his second startup, Symplified, is “within striking distance” of $100 million in revenue and an IPO by 2014, he says.
Symplified just raised $20 million in series C funding led by Ignition Partners. It has 3.9 million subscribers, and a customer list that includes big names like HP, Blue Shield, Zynga, Netflix, and Dolby Laboratories.
The company, which is based in Boulder, CO, has grown from six employees in 2007 to about 100 today. Revenue grew 300% in 2011 he said, but CEO Olden admits that the company isn’t posting a profit yet. And with an influx of $20 million, that doesn’t bother him at all.
“I’m particularly excited that Splunk filed their paperwork for their IPO. It shows real appetite for plumbing infrastructure companies still. That’s my plan to build Symplified to $100 million a year in recurring revenue, and we are well on our way,” Olden told Business Insider.
Symplified solves a problem with cloud security that enterprises don’t even know they’ll have until they are knee deep into it: It lets a company keep track of its employees’ user names, passwords, and permissions for various cloud services. When a company uses one cloud service — say Salesforce.com — an IT person can use a spreadsheet for that. But at three or more, that’s an impossible system. With Symplified, when an employee joins or leaves a company, IT folks can issue or close down all passwords for all cloud services. It also lets them perform other tasks such as linking cloud accounts to internal accounts managed with Microsoft Active Directory, such as Exchange email accounts.
In 2012 password mania will become a mongo problem. Some 80 per cent of new enterprise apps will be served up from the cloud in 2012, says IDC. By year end, employees will be using more than 10 different cloud apps on average, says Forrester Research.
Symplified is itself a cloud service. It doesn’t sell software licenses. It sells monthly subscriptions to its service, which is hosted by Amazon Web Services. Customers can also get a copy of it to run in their data centres locally, but they would still pay a per-person subscription.
Olden’s previous company also tried to solve this password-and-permissions identity problem. The company was Securant and it was bought by RSA in 2001 in one of the largest M&A deals in the security area that year, says Olden.
Symplified will use the $20 million to hire more salespeople and to launch a bunch of products this quarter including tools to manage security issues on mobile devices, Olden says.