Styra 2021 Year in Review

3 min read

It’s been a whirlwind year for Styra — from going fully remote as a company to raising $40 million in Series B Funding to more than doubling our workforce. We have a lot to be thankful for as a company, and before we say “goodbye” to 2021 and “hello” to 2022, I wanted to take a moment to recap some of my favorite moments and initiatives of this past year.

Open Policy Agent (OPA) becomes a Graduated Project

We had an exciting start to 2021 when OPA became a Graduated Project in the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) in early February! It was a huge milestone for the project, the team and the community. As the founders and maintainers of OPA, we couldn’t be prouder of the project’s success and more thankful of the community for guiding it to where it is today. 

In 2021, OPA surpassed 120 million downloads, gained 1,800 new Slack users and had 1600 new Github stars. I think it is safe to say that next year is going to be just as exciting for OPA and its community! You can read all about OPA’s year in our own Anders Eknert’s “2021 Year in Review.”

Styra recognized as a Gartner Cool Vendor and named an Inc. Best Workplace

May was an exciting month for us in 2021, starting off with two great industry recognitions. First, Styra was recognized as a Cool Vendor in the Gartner 2021 Cool Vendors for Software Engineering Technologies. I believe this recognition further solidified the importance of and the market need for cloud-native authorization. And, we wouldn’t have been given this recognition if it wasn’t for all the hard work of the Styra team, which leads me to our next recognition: Styra was named to Inc. magazine’s annual list of the Best Workplaces for 2021

This recognition underscores the company’s commitment to building an inclusive, supportive and innovative workplace culture. 2020 was a difficult year for companies as they transitioned to a remote first work environment. At Styra, we focused on supporting our employees and let teams tell us what worked best for them, creating company policies based off of that.

Styra raises Series B Funding

Hot off the heels of those two company recognitions came our Series B funding announcement! We raised a $40 million Series B funding round led by Battery Ventures with participation from previous investors, A. Capital, Unusual Ventures and Accel, as well as new investors at Capital One Ventures, Cisco Investments and Citi Ventures. With this funding, we were able to expand our team and enhance Styra Declarative Authorization Service (DAS) with new policy-as-code use cases across the cloud-native stack.

The Styra family more than doubled

We set a goal to double our team this past year — hiring across all functions, and in some cases even starting new ones, such as Business Development and Education! We wanted to approach hiring with diversity and inclusivity in mind, and, as we added new members to the team, we wanted to ensure that we were investing in and cultivating our employees’ career growth. One way we did this was by embracing a fully remote workforce

We were able to hire candidates with diverse backgrounds from all over the world. And by eliminating the hierarchy between those who could physically access the office and those who couldn’t, we became a more inclusive workplace. A fully remote workforce gives everyone the same clear expectations, perks and caveats.

New uses cases and features added to Styra DAS

In July, we announced new cloud infrastructure support via Terraform, extending Styra DAS guardrails to storage, network and compute resource configuration in public clouds including AWS, GCP and Azure. By extending Styra DAS to Terraform cloud infrastructure policy, cloud and DevOps teams no longer have to manage multiple security tools, or rely on best-effort manual processes.

Then in the second half of the year, we announced our partnership with Kong, Inc. to advance our common vision to secure modern cloud-native applications with dynamic, policy-enabled traffic control for microservices. Styra DAS and Kong Mesh together give teams granular control over traffic flow, and the real-time monitoring and historical audit records required to secure services and prove compliance.

We’ve also had a number of product recognition/awards throughout the year, including: 

  • Named the Policy Management Solution Provider of the Year in the Cybersecurity Breakthrough awards.

  • Shortlisted in the Best Cloud Native Solution category of the Cloud Awards (and OPA was shortlisted in the Best Open Source Cloud Solution!) 

  • Finalist in the DevOps Dozen’s Best Cloud Native Security Solution/Service category.

  • Runner up in the Containers category of the Tech Trailblazers awards.

It’s been an exciting year for the team and the OPA community, and I can’t wait to see what 2022 has in store for us!

Interested in working at a fast-growing startup or with open source technologies 🧑‍💻? We’re hiring! Check out our open positions today.

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