When Oracle(s orcl) finished buying Sun Microsystems in 2010, it got Sun’s identity and access management software, among many other technologies, but Oracle already had its own versions in its Fusion line of middleware.
Within a few months, many of the Sun employees who worked on the identity and access management software — for authenticating and keeping track of the permissions of a given website’s users — started working on their own software based on what was already available in open source, focusing not on enterprises’ internal employees but on end users from all over the world. They started a company of their own, ForgeRock.
Since then, the company has signed up more than 200 customers, including BSkyB, McKesson and the Vatican. It has opened offices in the U.S., France, Norway and the U.K. Now it’s taken in $15 million in a Series B round, bringing total venture funding to $22 million. Foundation Capital led this round, with previous investor Accel Partners also participating. The company will use the new cash to hire employees and add customers in the U.S. and India, its largest markets, as well as in other countries.
Oracle remains a competitor, as does CA Technologies(s ca). Microsoft(s msft) also has Active Directory, although AD is more focused on internal uses, said Daniel Raskin, ForgeRock’s VP of marketing. Developers certainly can roll their identity and access management software, but that takes time, and integrating the many access and identity management pieces from Oracle and CA can be complex. ForgeRock wants to keep it simple with open-source code and support through subscriptions. The software can let developers set up single sign-on, authentication, a directory for tracking who has access to which files and other features at scale and a system for keeping passwords updated across multiple applications, Raskin said.
CA and Oracle are hefty competitors to contend with. But if ForgeRock can keep adding customers and ensuring easy scalability, it might have itself a nice little niche.