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A good day for investing in digital identity management

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funding round biometrics and identity verification

A pair of enterprise digital identity firms seeking to dominate different aspects of their industry announced significant investments Wednesday.

By far, the bigger deal was Okta acquired Auth0 in an all-stock transaction valued at $6.5 billion. The purchase gave Okta a market cap of $31.2 billion. The second investment was a $74 million series A round for Identiq.

Okta Chief Executive Todd McKinnon wrote in a post on his company’s site that he is investing to become more things to more customers. McKinnon says his buyers need to grow from providing secure customer experiences through products to creating identity platforms for “every identity use case.”

Okta sells tools that buyers use to manage and track the identity and rights of their employees as they use work software. Auth0 makes a digital identity platform for developers.

In an interview with Forbes, he said he is concerned that Okta’s destiny will be stunted unless digital ID management becomes a “primary cloud” on par with CRM, infrastructure and collaboration.

Presumably, such an ascension is possible only if would-be buyers see identity management as a strategic advantage. And if companies like Okta can create identity platforms that are too complex and expensive for individual firms to build or assemble.

Auth0 will become an Okta unit, said McKinnon. No word if the acquired firm will retain one of its more distinctive positioning mottos: “give a shit” about customer value.

Auraya’s voice biometrics were launched to the Auth0 Marketplace just a month ago.

Also reaching for dominance in its sector of identity management, Tel Aviv-based Identiq said investors in its series A funding was led by Insight Partners and Entrée Capital. Also participating were Amdocs, Sony Innovation Fund by IGV, Slow Ventures, Oryzn and Vertex Ventures Israel.

Identiq’s proprietary, peer-to-peer Identity Validation Network, lets companies validate a consumer’s ID and payment details without having to expose private information not germane to a purchase. The company joined the market with its Anonymous Verification Network and raised $5 million in 2019.

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