By: Bill Mann
In November 2019, just after Styra raised $14 million in our Series A funding round, I wrote that the market’s move away from monolithic apps and adoption of containerized cloud-native application architectures was going to provide “a substantial market opportunity for policy and authorization to evolve.” A lot has happened since I wrote that, and I’m happy to report that while our Series A round showed the market opportunity, our latest round of funding proves the validity of the authorization market for cloud-native applications and solidifies Styra as the leader in this critical market space.
We announced today that we’ve raised $40 million in Series B funding to continue to drive access, security and compliance in cloud-native applications. This announcement comes on the heels of what’s been an amazing year for both the company and the open source project that we created, Open Policy Agent (OPA). Here’s are just some of the highlights:
In February 2021, OPA achieved graduated status in the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), making it the only graduated project to solve for authorization. The OPA co-creators, our own Torin Sandall and Tim Hinrichs, wrote a great blog on what they’ve learned about policy and creating an open source community.
OPA has reached over 75 million downloads—a number that increased nearly 600% in 2020 alone—and is averaging over a million downloads a week!
Also in February, we announced that we saw exponential business traction in 2020, achieving 300% customer and commercial growth year-over-year, and a 90% headcount increase. Significant new customer wins included the European Patent Office, Capital One and Zalando.
Just earlier this month, we were recognized as a Cool Vendor in the Gartner 2021 Cool Vendors for Software Engineering Technologies—I’m proud that Styra is at the forefront of authorization innovation to help our community and customers meet the changing demands of cloud-based applications.
And, just last week, we were named to Inc. magazine’s annual list of the Best Workplaces for 2021! I’m especially excited about this recognition because our employees are our most important asset. We’re always looking for ways to improve our employee experience, and will continue to prioritize our employees’ career growth, people operations and diversity as we grow and scale.
Building on this momentum, we plan to use this new funding to double our current team by the end of 2021—especially in the product, engineering and go-to-market departments—and invest in employee career growth, people operations, and diversity, to ensure that we are bringing both cultural diversity and broad industry experience into our organization.
Of course, as we are a product-focused company, we’ll also utilize this funding to enhance Styra Declarative Authorization Service (DAS) with new policy-as-code use cases across the cloud-native stack, and expand integrations with key technology partners. And, as the creators of OPA, we want to ensure OPA users find success at every stage of their journey, so we will be expanding our open source and developer advocacy teams.
I want to take this opportunity to thank the OPA community for fostering the culture of collaboration and innovation that has made OPA so successful. I’d also like to thank the Styra team for all their hard work and dedication—it is because of you that we are where we are today. I’m excited for our next chapter, and couldn’t ask for a better team and community to start it with.
Interested in joining the Styra team? We’re hiring! Check out our careers page to learn more.