Clear Skye lands $14M to simplify identity governance on ServiceNow

Clear Skye lands $14M to simplify identity governance on ServiceNow

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Clear Skye, which today announced raising a $14 million series A funding round, said that its identity governance and administration (IGA) platform that is native to ServiceNow is seeing surging demand from large enterprises. And now, additional identity solutions for ServiceNow and other key business applications are in the works, CEO John Milburn told VentureBeat.

Clear Skye stands out by delivering its identity solution “entirely within a larger platform,” starting with ServiceNow, Milburn said. In recent years, there has been an “explosion” in the use of software-as-a-service (SaaS) — and while that has helped many businesses to digitally transform, it’s also created massive difficulties for identity and governance teams, he noted.

“People have fatigue from that — from managing and correlating data, and using multiple interfaces and screens, and translating things between one app and the next,” Milburn said.

And the perennial question has been this: Why does IGA need to have its own, separate solution, rather than living inside the business applications themselves?

Clear Skye’s answer: It doesn’t.

“We believe that enterprises are looking for fewer ‘systems of action,’” Milburn said, in much the same way that consumers stopped using multiple devices — camera, GPS, MP3 player — once they could get all of that functionality through their smartphone.

When it comes to identity governance and administration, apart from Clear Skye, “every other solution in this market is like a standalone MP3 player,” Milburn said.

Native platform

Clear Skye says that it offers the only IGA platform developed natively on ServiceNow, simplifying identity governance and administration by not requiring users to leave ServiceNow to use the capabilities. IGA includes access control — which is focused on managing who has access to what applications — as well as compliance and security issues related to identity.

In the past, teams responsible for IGA would need to go to a standalone system and find the information they need, and then come back into ServiceNow, and “hopefully make the right decision,” Milburn said. “But you probably can guess what happens if you have to leave the spot you’re in — you make a calculated choice whether the risk is worth it, and move on.”

In other words, keeping IGA within ServiceNow itself not only simplifies life for the teams that oversee identity governance, but also lowers the risk for businesses by not requiring workers to make these sorts of choices, he said.

“By being at the right place, at the right time, [Clear Skye] can provide better information that results in better decisions,” Milburn said.

Growing portfolio

Looking ahead, Clear Skye is planning to expand beyond IGA soon, he said.

The Clear Skye IGA solution will be joined by two additional ServiceNow solutions — for privileged account management (PAM) and identity and access management (IAM) — within 2022, according to Milburn.

“These are areas that, we feel, are just as silly to be standalone and off to the side,” he said. “It is absolutely our goal to make every vendor in this space look like they’re selling standalone iPods.”

Then, starting in early 2023, the company plans to expand its offerings to other critical business applications beyond ServiceNow.

While the company isn’t saying which applications it will start with, Clear Skye is looking at launching identity solutions for Salesforce, Workday and Atlassian (maker of a number of software products).

“You will see us release similar products for customers that are basing their transformation off those platforms, as well,” Milburn said. “Ultimately, though, they’ll do the same thing — ensure that you know who has access across all your applications. And just make sure the functions and the data are on the platform that you’ve chosen for reimagining your business processes.”

Customer traction

Clear Skye now has 35 customers, all of which are large enterprises. The average customer for the company has 45,000 knowledge workers, and some have as many as 300,000, according to Milburn.

Customers disclosed by the company include ABB, West Fraser, Secureworks, Blackhawk Network, Premise Health and Landis+Gyr.

Revenue for Clear Skye grew by five times last year, and is on track to grow by three times in 2022, year-over-year, Milburn said.

According to BetterCloud, the average number of SaaS apps used by a company has grown by seven times since 2017. As fatigue over managing so many systems continues to spread, “we believe and this is why we’re growing so fast,” Milburn said.

Growth funding

The company’s series A funding was co-led by Storm Ventures and Toba Capital. Other backers in the round included, Point Field Partners and Inner Loop Capital. Clear Skye has now raised nearly $20 million since coming out of stealth in 2020, Milburn said.

The Emeryville, California-based company currently has 50 employees, and expects to close the year at nearly 100.

With the help of the new funding, Clear Skye plans to scale up its sales efforts, Milburn said. But the development of the next two products for ServiceNow, the PAM and IAM solutions, will constitute an even larger focus for the new investment, he said.

Undoubtedly, Clear Skye is looking to go big: “It will not be successful if this is not a billion-dollar exit,” Milburn said.

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