Okta Joins Unicorns With $75M Round And Looks Towards IPO

Okta, the cloud identity management company, announced a $75 million round.  Okta was valued at $1.2 billion in this deal, meaning it has entered the hallowed halls of the Unicorn club, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the deal.

CEO Todd McKinnon told TechCrunch that actual price is a tad below that reported figure at $1.175 billion.

While being a Unicorn isn’t what it once was, it still is meaningful and a big step for Okta, which has been trying to move beyond pure identity management into areas like security, mobile device management and two-factor identification.

Existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock Partners and Sequoia Capital led the round. Khosla Ventures, Altimeter, Glynn Capital and other unnamed investors also participated. Today’s investment brings the total raised since the company launched in 2009 to $230 million.

Okta scored an identical $75 million round last June. At the time McKinnon told TechCrunch he was looking at IPOing in the “next couple of years.” Today, he was more specific saying it would likely be in the next 12-18 months, depending on market conditions.

In spite of the current public market conditions, McKinnon said one of the chief reasons his company went back to the well so soon, was that the conditions for this money were so favorable.

“We had offers, but the [existing investors] were so excited about what we are doing and gave us the best deal in terms of valuation and more importantly tons of flexibility to go public with no provisions of blocking the IPO or penalizing us for having our valuation drop [if conditions changed],” he said.

More importantly, this money gives the company the flexibility to control its own destiny moving forward. “We don’t have to go public to raise capital. We don’t have any provisions to block us from going at a certain price or timeline,” he said.

The company has been growing 100 percent year over year and as such they were burning through cash. This puts money in the bank and allows them to buy small strategic companies if they become available, he explained.

Okta reports it has over 600 employees and 2500 customers and just last week it opened a new datacenter in the EU to comply with EU data privacy laws.