Posted on Wednesday, Feb 27th 2019
According to a Market Research Engine report, the global Identity and Access Management Market is expected to grow 12% over the next few years to $14.5 billion by 2021. Denver, Colorado-based Ping Identity is a leading player in the segment that has had an interesting run so far.
Ping Identity’s Financials
Founded in 2002 by serial entrepreneurs Andre Durand and Bryan Field-Elliot, Ping Identity was initially developed as an open source toolkit and library to implement the protocols of Liberty Alliance, a conglomerate of technology companies focused on standardizing identity. Soon, Ping Identity became focused on building a service that would provide a secure access to any application from any device.
Ping Identity has come quite a distance since its early days. Today, it has developed a platform that can support hybrid IT environments and provide diverse user populations with secure access to the various applications. It provides developers and enterprise IT with flexible options to rapidly enhance and extend their applications and environments with multi-factor authentication, single sign-on, access security, directory, and data governance capabilities. It has also partnered with several global technology leaders, SaaS vendors, system integrators, and value-added resellers to deliver joint solutions. Last year, Gartner recognized it as a leader in the 2018 Access Management Worldwide Magic Quadrant report. It claims that its customer list includes the 12 largest banks in the US, 7 of the 10 largest bio-pharmaceuticals, 4 of the 5 largest healthcare plans, and 2 of the 3 largest hospitals.
More recently, Ping Identity launched a cloud-based service for developers to build identity services into customer-facing applications so that enterprises can launch apps more quickly and simplify the transition to cloud deployment. Known as PingOne for Customers, the service provides API-based Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) and multi-factor authentication directly into applications. It simplifies the process of integrating identity and access management services into the application development process so that developers can focus on the application development instead.
Ping Identity operates on a subscription-based model. Its financial details are not disclosed, but the company was estimated to be trending at revenues of $140 million in fiscal 2017.
Till three years ago, Ping Identity was venture funded and looking to go public. It had raised $128 million from investors including General Catalyst Partners, Fidelity Ventures, Appian Ventures, W Capital Partners, DFJ Growth, and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. Then, in 2016, Vista Equity Partners acquired Ping Identity for an estimated $600 million. Vista Equity is known for its technology-based acquisitions. Last year, it acquired IT Business Management services provider Apptio for an estimated $1.94 billion. But Vista is most famously known for its $1.8 billion Marketo acquisition that it sold to Adobe last year for $4.8 billion.
Market rumors suggest that Vista may be planning for an exit for Ping Identity as well. It is expected to have hired Goldman Sachs as IPO underwriters for Ping Identity. In an unusual move, Vista Equity may not move forward with the IPO launch until 2019 or 2020. Analysts estimate that the IPO could value Ping Identity at nearly $3 billion – a significant increase over the $600 million price it paid for the acquisition. The high valuation is not a surprise given that Okta, which went public in 2017, is trading at a market cap of $8 billion with quarterly revenues of $106 million.
Besides rising valuations, the identity access management market is also witnessing increasing number of acquisitions. Smaller companies like ScaleFT, which had raised $2.8 million in funding was acquired by Okta last year for an undisclosed sum, and Cisco acquired two-step authentication service provider Duo Security for $2.35 billion.
Last year, Ping Identity also acquired API cybersecurity provider Elastic Beam for an undisclosed sum. Founded in 2014, Elastic Beam had built the first hybrid cloud software solution that combined advanced AI techniques with strong API behavior expertise to detect and automatically stop threats that use APIs to gain control of systems and data. Its solution autodiscovered active APIs and delivered deep visibility into all API activity. Ping Identity planned to leverage the acquired technology to enables businesses to recognize and respond to rapidly changing, dynamic attacks that target API vulnerabilities.
Analysts believe that Vista Equity itself is open to a suitable acquisition offer for Ping Identity while it waits for the company to list. Who do you think could benefit from an acquisition of Ping Identity? And while it waits for a suitable offer, what other companies do you think Ping Identity should add to its portfolio to beef up its offerings?
This segment is a part in the series : Billion Dollar Unicorns
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