WorkOS, which brings ‘enterprise readiness’to SaaS apps, raises $80M | VentureBeat

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WorkOS, a platform that businesses use to inject enterprise-grade functionality into their applications, has raised $80 million in a series B round of funding.

Selling a product to any business has its inherent challenges. For starters, how do you go about convincing the decision-makers and purse-string controllers that your software is better than the competition? But selling software to an enterprise has its own unique set of hurdles, particularly around heightened security, data privacy and compliance requirements.

Many software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies these days structure their pricing plans with such requirements firmly in mind, with heftier price tags attached to an “enterprise” tier that includes several premium features, such as single-sign on (SSO). But developing such features is a resource-intensive endeavor, one that could hinder smaller businesses from securing bigger clients.

And that, essentially, is what WorkOS is all about. Out-of-the-box, it offers SSO alongside directory sync for user and group provisioning. “These are the first features that enterprise customers require — building them in-house can take months, but with WorkOS it takes just a few hours,” WorkOS founder and CEO Michael Grinich told VentureBeat.

In short, WorkOS is perhaps a little akin to Stripe or Twilio — but rather than packaging payments or messaging infrastructure, it serves up enterprise features. On top of all that, WorkOS also offers a white-label admin portal for self-serve onboarding — this essentially offers a UI for software companies’ customers (e.g., their enterprise clients) to configure their SSO and directory sync connections.

WorkOS’s white-label admin portal

End users

So, who might a typical WorkOS customer be? Well, typically it would be a post- product-market-fit company that’s building a SaaS app. Indeed, in the four years since it was founded, WorkOS has amassed a fairly impressive roster of customers, including “unicorn” companies such as Drata, Loom, Webflow and Hopin.

“Sometimes they [WorkOS’ customers] are early-stage and have just a few customers, other times they are more established, like Loom,” Grinich explained. “We also have customers across a ton of different verticals –WorkOS is really for anyone building a B2B [business-to-business] app.”

At its core, WorkOS is all about helping companies build out their core product by helping them focus on unique, differentiating features rather than having to develop everything in-house from scratch.

“More and more apps are getting built and I.T. is becoming more sophisticated about how to manage those products — this means the integration work for developers is also increasingly complex and they would rather spend time building unique features,” Grinich said.

There are many other players operating in the “enterprise readiness” space, including an open-source alternative called BoxyHQ which recently launched out of stealth, while Frontegg raised a $25 million tranche of funding late last year. And then there are more established entities such as Auth0 (which Okta acquired for $6.5 billion last year), though it focuses largely on the authentication side of things.

WorkOS, for its part, is looking to “solve the wider challenge of becoming enterprise ready,” according to Grinich and on top of its existing SSO, directory sync and admin portal products, the company is working on additional features to help companies tool up for the enterprise. This includes audit logs, which are currently available in private beta.

“There’s a whole bunch of stuff under the umbrella of becoming enterprise ready,” Grinich said. “We have some exciting new products coming out this summer that I think our customers are going to absolutely love. We’re just getting started.”

Prior to now, WorkOS had raised around $15 million. With another $80 million in the bank, the company is well-financed to get these products to market. But on top of its funding announcement today, WorkOS also announced that it has acquired Modulz, the company behind a user interface (UI) design tool and a duo of open-source projects, including a UI framework called Radix. With the Modulz team now under its wing, WorkOS said that it’s now better positioned to “help developers build apps faster and ship enterprise features effortlessly.”

“Building apps today is still super hard, and we hope to make that process easier for developers,” Grinich said. “Some of this will mean open-source and some will be hosted infrastructure services. But at the end of the day, our focus is on building tools for developers so they create great products and businesses.”

WorkOS’s series B round was led by Greenoaks, with participation from Lightspeed Ventures, Abstract Ventures and a host of angel investors.

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