Cybersecurity Startup ConductorOne Raises $5 Million to Streamline IT Access Requests

By Jemima McEvoy Saturday, April 10, 2021

ConductorOne announced this week that it has raised $5 million in seed funding. The Portland-based startup business is building what it describes as the first-ever identity orchestration and automation platform. The company is certainly tapping into a market with much potential, as the global cybersecurity market — expanding at a compound annual growth rate of 10.5% — is expected to reach $199.98 billion in value by 2025. Even more niche subsets of the market are seeing substantial growth, a positive sign for this online security company.

A digital padlock.

What Is ConductorOne?

The cybersecurity startup was founded in 2020 by entrepreneurs Alexander Bovee and Paul Querna. Both founders previously worked in Zero Trust — the cybersecurity concept that organizations should not trust anything either inside or outside their perimeters without verification — at identify and access management company Okta.

When working at that major business, the duo noticed that while adopting Zero Trust strategies, many companies were not enacting the privilege protocols necessary to streamline identity verification — meaning company employees were often delayed in accessing cloud-based apps. Bovee left Okta and was shortly followed by Querna to start ConductorOne, which aims to solve the problem by giving administrators the ability to automate and delegate employee access to SaaS infrastructure and cloud-based apps.

“It’s the next step on a journey to Zero Trust and least privilege management,” explains the company website. “It’s how you can achieve centralized compliance and security policy. And, most importantly, it’s how you can enable your employees and your business to be more productive and move faster.”

Money and Investors

The $5 million raised in the seed round is the total amount of money the cybersecurity startup has reported to bring in from investors since it was founded last year. However, this round was significant (not only because it was the first for the business) because it revealed some influential investors are already interested in the cybersecurity company.

The seed round was led by Accel, a California-based globally operating venture capital firm. Among the companies previously backed by Accel are Facebook, Etsy, Slack, Spotify, Vox Media, Cloudera, Braintree, and Dropbox. Other investors in the business include Fuel Capital, Fathom Capital, and Active Capital.

Ping Li, a partner at Accel, described ConductorOne as approaching “multi-billion market opportunities” in the identity and access management space. “Automation that solves privilege management and governance is the next major pillar of cloud identity,” said Li, adding that the startup founders have ample experience and “deeply understand identity and what customers need.”

The Future of the Cybersecurity Startup

As it’s only a year old, ConductorOne will use the money from its seed round to build out its platform and get its business off the ground. Then, the company said it will focus on getting early customers.

The startup has an idea that has already gained the confidence of investors. Plus, it has two experienced founders who have actually had the experience of building a successful company before (Querna co-founded ScaleFT, which was acquired by Okta in 2018). If it can gain traction, the cybersecurity business stands to benefit from the seemingly endless potential of a rapidly expanding market that is hungry for revolutionary new ideas.

About the Author


Headshot of Jemima McEvoy

Jemima is a journalist who enjoys reporting on business, particularly small business and entrepreneurship.

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