10 Cybersecurity Companies Making Moves: February 2023
We’re taking a look at the cybersecurity companies that launched products and partner program updates, raised major funding, announced acquisitions or made key executive changes in February.
Passwordless-Focused Startup Descope Raises $53 Million
Tech startups typically don‘t raise initial seed funding rounds in excess of $50 million, but the reputation of Descope’s founders paired with a powerful new tool for improving authentication led the company to do just that last month. On Feb. 15, Descope raised $53 million in seed funding led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and GGV Capital and announced the debut of its tool for enabling developers to more easily integrate passwordless authentication into applications. Other investors include CrowdStrike co-founder and CEO George Kurtz and Rubrik co-founder and CEO Bipul Sinha.
Descope has a total of eight founders, all of which were behind Demisto — a security orchestration, automation and response (SOAR) vendor that was acquired by Palo Alto Networks for $560 million in 2019. However, at Demisto and earlier companies, inordinate amounts of time and energy were spent on building identity and authentication mechanisms into their products, said Slavik Markovich (pictured), co-founder and CEO at Descope. And so when the time came for the leaders of Demisto to move on to the “next adventure,” they agreed that authentication would be a “big, interesting problem where we could save developers a huge amount of time and complexity — and [improve] security — by just implementing this as-a-service,” Markovich told CRN. And since this is 2023, he said, the team decided to prioritize enabling passwordless authentication — with a focus on allowing for easier connections into the passwordless systems such as “passkeys” that are now supported by devices and platforms from major vendors including Apple, Microsoft and Google. The Descope tool is available through both free and paid versions, with higher user counts and other capabilities offered by the paid version.
While it’s very early for the company, Markovich said that Descope expects to explore bringing the technology to market through partners down the road. “There are going to be partnerships to help us get to both customers and the large dev shops,” he said.