Okta snatches up security firm Spera, reportedly for over $100M | TechCrunch

Okta, the identity and access management company, is acquiring security firm Spera.

Anticipated to close during the fiscal first quarter beginning in early February, the Spera acquisition will build on Okta’s existing identity threat detection and response (ITDR) capabilities, Okta says, while equipping customers with tech to “elevate their identity security, posture management and identify, detect and remediate risks.”

The terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but Calcalist reports that Okta’s paying approximately $100 million to $130 million for Spera, contingent on milestones.

“As the leading identity partner, we remain committed to equipping our customers with the tools and knowledge needed in an increasingly challenging environment, and we’re excited about how Spera Security can amplify our ITDR work to deliver more secure outcomes for our customers,” a post published this morning on Okta’s blog reads.

Spera — which my colleague Frederic has covered previously — was co-founded several years ago by entrepreneurs Dor Fledel and Ariel Kadyshevitch. The platform, based in Palo Alto and Tel Aviv, provides tools to identify silos across software-as-a-service and infrastructure apps, helping to discover vulnerabilities across user populations and prioritize security issues based on regulations, attack vectors and industry best practices.

A service like Spera also serves a purpose that goes beyond security, as Frederic noted in his coverage — helping companies lower their license costs by allowing them to find dormant accounts that can be turned off.

Spera, which has about 25 employees, had raised $10 million prior to the Okta acquisition. Investors included YL Ventures and angel investors hailing from tech giants like Google, Palo Alto Networks, Akamai and Zendesk.

Okta sees Spera enabling its customers to better assess the security posture of their identity infrastructure as well as their apps and services — and attracting new customers to the Okta platform. The company cites research from Gartner implying that, by 2026, 90% of organizations will be using some type of embedded ITDR strategy — up from between 5% and 20% today.

“With Spera Security, we will equip our customers with richer insights and technology to elevate their identity security posture management, and quickly identify, detect, and remediate risks,” the blog post continues. “They can use Spera Security’s tangible suggestions like identifying SSO [single sign-on] or MFA [multifactor authentication] exclusions for privileged and service accounts to improve their security posture and remediate any potential threat vectors before they become critical.”

Okta’s Spera buy comes after the former’s acquisition of a16z-backed password manager Uno — and after a rosy fiscal quarter for Okta. The $6 billion company beat Wall Street expectations in Q4, suggesting that the publicly traded firm is on the right track — at least in the eyes of shareholders.

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