Elevator Pitch: Auth0

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Elevator Pitch is a regular feature on Lifehacker where we profile startups and new companies and pick their brains for entrepreneurial advice. This week, we're talking with Eugenio Pace, CEO and Founder of Auth0.

In 128 words or less, explain your business idea

Auth0 is a global leader in Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS), providing thousands of enterprise customers with a Universal Identity Platform for their web, mobile, IoT, and internal applications.

In today’s global economy where cloud architecture dominates, companies are seeking ways to converge platforms to simplify their technology and save time and resources. Auth0 can fulfill any identity scenario, whether it’s for consumers, business partners, employees, or IoT devices, and eliminates the need for multiple identity providers.

Our extensible platform seamlessly authenticates and secures more than 1.5B logins per month, making it loved by developers and trusted by global enterprises.

What strategies are you using to grow and finance your idea?

We’re continuing to innovate our Universal Identity Platform, accelerate go-to-market programs, and drive global expansion with a focus on high growth markets such as Australia and New Zealand. Since establishing a presence here in 2017, we have tripled staff in Sydney to support a 125 percent growth in customer acquisition, including enterprises such as Atlassian, CarsGuide, AGL, THE ICONIC, and New Zealand Post. We are leveraging funds from our $55M Series D funding round to support expansion globally, including here in Australia and New Zealand.

By 2020, we’re aiming for a five-fold increase in revenues and employee count (from 2017), marking a tremendous trajectory for the next few years. Our concerted effort on streamlining processes, focusing on attracting and retaining the highest-level talent, and of course, continuing to exceed customer expectations with Auth0’s product, is what makes us confident that this ambitious growth metric will be achieved.

What's the biggest challenge facing your business?

Auth0’s biggest competition is the organisational decision to keep identity management in-house – build vs. buy. Companies with large teams of developers choose to retain the rights to their proprietary technology and make the decision against outsourcing, with the intention of saving time and money. The biggest problem here is that the developers are not identity experts and identity management is far more complex than originally perceived. Therefore developers’ time and the company’s money is wasted on creating a suboptimal – and many times unsecure – tool. And in many cases, the timeline for the launch of a new initiative gets pushed back because identity now needs to be integrated in the correct manner.

A common misconception also is that identity is a “sunk cost” or a “one-time investment”. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In security, we are in constant battle with new vulnerabilities, breaches, etc. It requires an ongoing investment to stay on top of new attack vectors, and threats. That becomes a big opportunity cost.

This is an obstacle that requires education, patience, and communication, and Auth0 is committed to continuing to serve as a valuable resource for developers. Since its inception, Auth0 has built a loyal following due to its in-depth and widely-accessible documentation, resulting in approximately 15,000 developer sign-ups a month. Auth0 wants to help ease the developer journey for their Auth0 integration, but also for identity management concepts overall.

How do you differentiate your business from your competitors?

Focusing on customers’ needs and being dedicated to constantly innovating our platform is what continues to distinguish Auth0 in the market. Identity management is a universal problem, which we approach with a fully customizable platform that can be integrated into any existing infrastructure for any identity management need. Other identity platforms require complex coding, internal resources, and valuable time to integrate. Created with the developer in mind, our platform makes complex identity tasks simple and enables developers to focus on product innovation.

In addition to catering to developers, Auth0’s Universal Identity Platform is a huge differentiator because it enables any company with any need to use a single solution, whether it’s to authenticate consumers, business partners, employees, or even devices. Today’s identity management landscape is very siloed, with many different vendor options available for each use case. But with Auth0, all identity management can be implemented within, and managed from, one platform.

What one phone, tablet or PC application could you not live without?

For work, Slack is probably number one. For personal use, outside the built-in camera (and oh the shock! a phone :-) ), I can’t be without my Kindle. I also have two phones: personal and work. It helps me keep a healthy balance of work and personal life.

What's the best piece of business advice you've ever received?

That every company’s journey is unique and that the first rule of being an entrepreneur is that there are no rules for being an entrepreneur.


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