Intel Capital Leads $35M Investment In Social Login Service Gigya

Gigya, a company that helps online businesses and publishers manage customer log-ins, is announcing that it has raised $35 million in a funding round led by Intel Capital.

CEO Patrick Salyer told me that this was a strategic investment from Intel. It’s too early to get specific about how the two companies plan to work together, he said, but on a broad level, Salyer argued that the idea of customer identity is expanding beyond the social platforms (like Facebook) that Gigya currently integrates with.

“We actually think that there’s quite a bit of a transformation happening,” he said. “We’re coming from this phase where third-party identities were about social logins, but we’re seeing that the very definition of identity is changing … to include payment, security, even leveraging hardware. In this new world, who are the players that matter? In addition to Facebook, it’s Amazon, it’s PayPal.”

As a result, he said Gigya and Intel are developing something related to “next generation consumer identity” and making user authentication “more secure.”

Regardless of what Gigya has in the works, this “new world,” as Salyer described it, seems like a promising one for the company — certainly more so than if everyone’s just asking their users to log in through Facebook and nothing else.

I should also note that Gigya isn’t focused on log-ins alone. The company now divides its services into three buckets — connect (i.e. user registration), collect (managing user data), and convert (using that data for marketing purposes). As a consumer, you might not love the idea of an online publisher using, say, your Facebook data. But Salyer argued that it’s both more accurate and less intrusive than the alternative, namely going out and buying third-party data, which he compared to “spying on your consumers.”

Plus, these logins will be increasingly important for tracking users across devices, something that Facebook itself is trying to take advantage of with its Atlas ad platform.

Salyer added that Gigya’s tools are used by more than 700 customers (including NBC, Forbes, Tommy Hilfiger, and Barneys New York) and that the company has processed more than 1 billion registrations and logins so far this year.

This round brings Gigya’s total funding to $104 million. New backers include Common Fund Capital and Vintage Investment Partners; previous investors Adobe, Advance Publications, Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures, Greenspring Associates and Mayfield Fund also participated.

Gigya is one of 16 investments just announced by Intel Capital.