Smallstep Raises $26M to Focus on Building Essential Infrastructure Security Products

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Smallstep announced it has raised $26 million in total funding, including a $7 million seed round led by boldstart ventures with participation from Accel Partners, Bain Capital Ventures and Upside Partnership, and a $19 million Series A round. million led by StepStone Group with participation from existing companies. investors.

The funding will be used to expand Smallstep’s focus on building products for practical zero trust by investing in their open source community and accelerating research and development to bring new features and expertise to securing infrastructure. .

Founded by Mike Malone, Smallstep focuses on automated certificate management, an essential foundation for DevOps teams to establish practical zero trust. The company has spent the past few years building a strong open source community with millions of downloads and hundreds of independent contributions from developers around the world. Smallstep’s mission is to enable enterprises to secure their entire infrastructure by identifying everything and everyone, issuing credentials, encrypting data and communications, and enforcing a strong security policy.

“Smallstep is a passionate team that manufactures essential infrastructure security products and tools,” said Hunter Somerville, General Partner, StepStone Group. “Our investment in this team and their products was an easy decision to make.”

“Our world is powered by a complex tangle of software, and since the early days of Smallstep, we’ve focused on the fundamental problem of keeping everything secure,” said Malone, Founder and CEO of Smallstep. “Certificates have been quietly providing a tone of identity to the web for decades, but their usefulness extends beyond this use case. Certificate management is a handy Zero Trust technology that every non-trivial system should have. This funding will allow us to bring automated certificate management to everyone. We are fortunate to have an incredible group of investors who understand the need for this important foundational infrastructure and I am thrilled to partner with them in this assignment.

Smallstep is backed by an experienced team from leading development companies such as Sauce Labs, Minted, Kenna Security (Cisco), Let’s Encrypt (Internet Security Research Group), Pivotal and Dell EMC. Every member of the Smallstep team has experienced the pain of managing certificates in Kubernetes, Docker, cloud native, on-premises, etc. – and seeks to bring a production identity to each environment.

“When we first met Mike, it was clear he was on a mission and we knew we wanted to partner with him immediately,” said Eliot Durbin, general partner of boldstart ventures. “Mike is a recognized leader and innovator in the distributed systems space, and we look forward to working with the Smallstep leadership team as they build an exceptional company and a massive category.”

“The rapid rise of microservices and containers is eroding traditional network perimeter-based security. Certificates provide a source of truth for machine and production identity, but are difficult to use at scale in modern architectures,” said Enrique Salem, Partner at Bain Capital Ventures. “Smallstep makes it easy to access the power of certificates, helping developers secure the services and containers that build their application framework.”

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