$50 Million Okta Ventures to Fund Modern Identity Solutions

Investments will drive startup innovation for modern identity challenges and opportunities

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NASDAQ-listed company Okta, a provider of identity for the enterprise has put together a $50 million investment fund called Okta Ventures.  Okta Ventures plans to invest heavily in early-stage solutions for identity, security, and privacy including artificial intelligence, machine learning, and blockchain. 

“In line with Okta’s vision of enabling any organization to use any technology, Okta Ventures will invest in the growing ecosystem of startups tackling issues like identity, security, and privacy,” said Frederic Kerrest, Chief Operating Officer and co-founder of Okta. “Beyond investing in industry-wide innovation, we also recognize how valuable these advancements can be for our customers, who are often looking for solutions to some of the hard problems these companies are solving. We expect the partnerships with our portfolio companies to extend our platform, and we’re committed to providing significant value to these early stage startups. Trusted Key is a perfect example of a young company working on a big idea, and we look forward to collaborating to shape the future of identity.”

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In addition to announcing the creation of the fund, Okta is also announcing its first investment in Trusted Key, a blockchain-based digital identity company.

“Decentralized identity marks a profound change for the identity industry and we believe we are in the early stages of this change,” said Amit Jasuja, Chief Executive Officer of Trusted Key. “Joining the Okta Ventures portfolio gives us a chance to access more than just funds to build our business, as Okta’s experience and depth of knowledge in the identity space will be invaluable as we move forward.”

The fund will seek out startups that are aligned with Okta’s vision of enabling any organization to use any technology. Along with monetary investments, Okta Ventures plans to provide a number of unique advantages for portfolio companies, including the use of Okta software, access to expertise, SDK and API design partnerships, and co-marketing opportunities. Beyond the potential for financial returns, Okta Ventures will emphasize modern identity architecture design and adoption with its portfolio companies, as well as contributions to the Okta ecosystem, which Okta expects to increase the value of the Okta Integration Network.

Founded in 2016 by former executives from Microsoft, Oracle, and Symantec, Trusted Key has built a decentralized digital identity solution to enable organizations that work together as ecosystems to share strongly proofed user identities with user consent. Combining innovative mobile and blockchain technologies into a secure platform, Trusted Key’s enterprise-friendly approach is resonating with customers in healthcare, finance, and retail ecosystems. Trusted Key’s technology offers customers a blend of security and customizable experiences to meet modern identity challenges, much like Okta.

About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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