Centrify Nabs $42M From Samsung And More For Cloud-Based Enterprise Identity Management

The rush to fund interesting companies in the world of online security continues apace. Today, Centrify — a specialist in cloud-based identity management for enterprises — is announcing that it’s picked up an additional $42 million from a group of investors that includes Samsung Ventures, a strategic investment that will be used to help bolster the mobile giant’s KNOX enterprise offering. Centrify itself will be using the funding to expand internationally and build out its products.

“We can fill out and expand with sales and marketing overseas,” says CEO Tom Kemp. “This gives us more rocket fuel.”

It’s the second mammoth round of funding for identity management companies to be announced in the last two days, after Dashlane yesterday announced a $22 million round.

Centrify’s Series E also includes other strategic investors Fortinet and Docomo Capital, the VC arm of the Japanese carrier; as well as existing investors Accel, Sigma West and Mayfield, which actually led this latest round. It takes the company’s total funding to $94 million.

Although Centrify has expanded into difference aspects of identity management and security over its ten years of business, one of the key areas that it has been putting a lot of effort has been into cloud-based security — an area that CEO Tom Kemp tells me the bulk of its last round of financing went to develop.

“From the Series D of August 2011, we took that money and ploughed into building this cloud platform,” he says.

That effort now appears to be bearing fruit: it forms the core of the company’s mobile device management offering, which lets IT departments control mobile apps and other services and gives users a single-sign on for access. This is what Samsung itself has started to incorporate into its own KNOX MDM solution, which was initially announced at MWC earlier this year and is now being rolled out.

While there may still be question marks over whether some enterprise cloud services will ever have the same kinds of margins that the legacy on-premise and equipment-based offerings have (and had), Centrify is hedging that model by remaining a hybrid offering for the time being, with both cloud and on-premise solutions, as well as blends of the two.

Kemp points out that in 2013 its sales grew more than 40%, with over $50 million in sales from its new-wave business. Interestingly, Kemp believes that the mixed results (some good, some not so good) we’ve seen for tech companies going public has worked in Centrify’s favor. “The IPO bar has gone down,” he says. “We’re close and could be listing within the next year.”