Building With Descope—Drag-and-Drop Authentication
Our investment in the future of security is about identity.
By Guru Chahal and Ravi Mhatre
Increasingly, cybersecurity is synonymous with identity. Every enterprise app needs to verify that users are whom they claim to be, and that they have appropriate access to corporate resources. But the only people who like passwords are the hackers who abuse them.
More sophisticated authentication techniques such as biometrics, multi-factor, or single-use magic links are now table stakes for every enterprise. As a result, some app developers devote months to integrating different auth solutions into their platforms.
Re-inventing the authentication wheel is costly and carries the potential to introduce new vulnerabilities. There’s a clear market opportunity for companies that can simplify and standardize this process. That’s a key reason we are pleased to announce that Lightspeed is co-leading a $53M seed round investment in Descope along with GGV Capital, as well as a handful of top funds and angel investors.
Simple and robust
Descope allows developers to add authentication and user management capabilities to any B2B or B2C application with just a few lines of code. Perhaps more importantly, it allows enterprises to customize the workflow around authentication based on the circumstances at hand — for example, requiring more extensive credentials if someone is attempting to log in from a new device or an unusual location.
And it does this in a way that makes the most sense for each application and development team, whether that’s via a no-code workflow builder and screen editor, a software development kit, or comprehensive REST APIs. Developers can use a drag and drop interface to select how each type of user should be authenticated, and under what conditions. No other auth platform on the market today offers all of that functionality in a single, easy to use package.
A security dream team
But what really captured our interest in Descope was the team behind it. The company’s founders are all veterans of Demisto, a category-creating security orchestration product that was acquired by Palo Alto Networks for over $560 million in 2019. The team possesses deep backgrounds in cybersecurity, having worked together at McAfee, Intel Security, and Sentrigo, a database security company co-founded by Slavik Markovich (Descope CEO) and acquired by McAfee in 2011.
There’s a very short list of founding teams who can match these leaders for their experience, expertise, and ability both to launch startups that have completed successful exits and to create and grow product lines within large enterprises.
At Lightspeed we have a rich history of investing in seminal enterprise security startups, which includes companies such as Cato Networks, Exabeam, Netskope, Noname, and Zscaler. Descope fits extremely well with our thesis that cybersecurity is evolving away from a focus on protecting assets and toward an approach centered around identity. That’s where we believe this field is headed, and where we plan to focus many of our future investments.
We believe Descope could become the Stripe of authentication platforms — offering developers a simple way to manage a vital function, so they can focus their resources on enhancing their app’s unique value and get to market more quickly. As we move toward a password-less future, the need for more sophisticated and secure authentication solutions like Descope will become increasingly vital. We’re happy to help accelerate this journey.
Developers can sign up for Descope at https://www.descope.com/sign-up