Sunday , September 20 2020

The secret is out: 1Toronto speech raises $ 200m led by US venture capital giant Axel


1Password has signed more than 50,000 corporate and government clients since the start of its business offering in early 2016.

Associated Press

Welliger's Silicon Valley-based Axel Capital giant made the largest single investment in its history, leading $ 200m in financing for the Toronto company behind popular password management software.

AgileBits Inc., which operates like 1Password, has never invested in its 14-year history. Little is known in Toronto's tech community, though there are millions of users who pay $ 3 or more a month for its product, which automatically creates and stores complex passwords for users they can use to automatically fill out credentials. for logging on to a number of websites and platforms. Users do not need to remember all of these codes, just one main password to access their login credentials.

But the success of 1Password, which is blocking the corporate market, prompted Axel – an early supporter of Facebook, Spotify and Slack, plus Canadian Hootsuite Media and POS Lightspeed – to invest at least $ 140 million. USD. (Other backers include Slack's venture capital fund and top executives at Australian software company Atlassian Corp. PLC).

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"It's rare to have a circle of this size and size, and I think it speaks to both the opportunity and the team's performance," said Axel partner Arun Matthew, who joins the Toronto board of directors.

1Password, which began selling to individuals, has signed more than 50,000 corporate and government customers since launching its business offering in early 2016, including a quarter of Fortune 100 firms.

As the parties refused to disclose the financial details – except for the income of her company, they increased by 300 percent in two years – industry sources said the 1-word revenue was in the tens of millions of dollars (US) and that the funding was well worth the north. of $ 500 million. At least a third of the proceeds go to the company and the rest of the founders, with new investors getting a minority stake.

Unlike many fast-growing software companies, 1Password is "extremely profitable from day one", said Mr. Matthew. "They didn't spend much on paid marketing or advertising, and not many people know about them, but I think it's one of the best stories from Canada."

Effeff Finer, chief executive of 1Password, said the company decided to take over its first external funding because "the market is ready [with companies] now of course more than ready to adopt and bring the enterprise password manager "to the staff.

"It's something we want to use. We know how to build a really good product and support our customers really well. [Accel] can help us with other things, ”including marketing and sales and employment talent programs.

The deal is the latest in a string of mega-financing by Canadian tech companies this year. It is also revealed that Canada is home to several large technology firms that are not power-savvy and fail to grasp as venture-backed firms.

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That is likely to change, said Chad Bain, co-president of the law firm Osler, Harcourt and Foskin, which is emerging and emerging practices of high-growth companies as private equity lenders increasingly look to support lucrative technology backing. on internally generated funds "unlike many of the Gulf-backed companies and elsewhere in the US, I expect to see more of these deals in the future."

1Password got its start when software developers and friends Dave Teare and Rustem Karimov started business in 2006 building websites. As a sideline, they developed a tool for automatically and securely storing information, including passwords, to be able to fill out forms immediately, saving time in the development process.

They uploaded the tool to several developer websites and received strong feedback, encouraging them to focus on selling their password storage tool. As their business grew, they recruited Mr. Finer, a friend of Mr. Teare's, to lead the company in 2012. "I joined because I saw the passion in David and Rustem … and how much they enjoyed what they did," Mr Finer said.

The company casts itself as a happy gay-focused, customer-oriented home. Most employees have unmatched titles: Mr Finer calls himself "the main obstacle-lifter", while Mr Winner's wife Teare, Sarah Teare, who oversees finance, human resources and customer support, is a "minister of magic". Other employees listed on his website have titles such as "net weaver", "agile samurai", "elf housewife" and "cocoa head".

"Giving everyone the opportunity to choose a job title that suits their personality allows us to have a very serious topic," Ms Teare said. "When talking to our clients, it is important that they know that they are talking to people who are here to help them, not just the robot trying to get another check mark."

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"It is one of those companies that has not evolved in the traditional way and is not ascribed to the traditional hierarchy," he added. Matthew at Axel. “They want everything [employee] to feel that they are an important part of the organization. "

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