Cloud-Native Authorization Company Styra Closes $14 Million In Funding

By Dan Anderson • Nov 13, 2019
  • Cloud-native authorization company Styra announced it raised $14 million in funding led by Accel

Styra — a cloud-native authorization company — announced it has raised $14 million in funding led by Accel with participation from previous investors Unusual Ventures and A.Capital. With this round of funding, Styra will support its thriving open-source community centered around Open Policy Agent (OPA) and to enhance its turnkey enterprise security and compliance solutions for Kubernetes environments.

New technologies such as Kubernetes, Containers, ServiceMesh, and CICD Automation are known to speed application delivery and development. But they lack a common framework for authorization to determine where access should be allowed and where it should be denied.

Styra’s commercial and open-source solutions are purpose-built for the scale of cloud-native development that provides this authorization layer to mitigate risk across cloud application components as well as the infrastructure they are built upon.

“Kubernetes has evolved from experimentation to production, and old-school security and compliance tools cannot possibly address the dynamism, scale, and exponential complexity of today’s cloud-native stack,” said Bill Mann, CEO of Styra. “We’re thrilled to partner with Accel as we reinvent policy and authorization to meet today’s privacy demands in the new stack—from Kubernetes and CICD to streaming databases, APIs, servicemesh, apps, cloud platforms, and more.”

Styra built OPA to solve authorization challenges that arise from the speed and scale of containerized application environments. And the founders donated the project to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) to help it grow organically based on solutions to real-world problems.

“By providing businesses with a critical, unified layer of security and authorization that did not exist before, Styra has tackled some of the biggest challenges associated with cloud-native application development,” added Eric Wolford, partner at Accel. “We’ve been partnering with Kubernetes visionaries and leaders since the industry was in its infancy. Just as we saw with Heptio and Sysdig, we believe Styra is going to drive the next wave of innovation as companies turn to containerization to speed and ease application development.”

There are hundreds of enterprise users, including Netflix, Capital One, and Pinterest that run OPA in production. And the project has grown well over 10x in the last year with many millions of DockerHub pulls to date.

Styra’s commercial Declarative Authorization Service (DAS) — which builds on the proven success of OPA — provides a management plan that provides context-based guardrails —built from a graphical policy library to mitigate risks, reduce human error, and accelerate development. And Styra DAS makes the management of distributed OPA deployments possible, facilitates multi-cluster and multi-cloud management, and enables DevOps teams to prove security and compliance both internally and externally.

Forrester is predicting that the public cloud market will grow from over $140 billion today to $411 billion in 2022. And Gartner — looking at the growth in containerization over the same timeframe — estimates that “more than 75% of global organizations will be running containerized applications in production,” up from less than 30% in 2019.