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Styra Secures $14M in Funding Led by Accel to Expand Open Source and Commercial Solutions for Kubernetes/Cloud-native Security

Led by Accel, Series A round includes existing Investors Unusual Ventures and A.Capital

 Styra, Inc., the founders of Open Policy Agent and leader in cloud-native authorization, announced it raised $14 million in series A funding, led by Accel, with participation from previous investors Unusual Ventures and A.Capital. Styra will use this new investment to support its thriving open source community centered around Open Policy Agent (OPA), and to enhance its turnkey enterprise security and compliance solutions for Kubernetes environments.

New technology—like Kubernetes, Containers, ServiceMesh, and CICD Automation—speed application delivery and development. However, they lack a common framework for authorization to determine where access should be allowed, and where it should be denied. Styra’s commercial and open source solutions—purpose-built for the scale of cloud-native development—provide this authorization layer to mitigate risk across cloud application components, as well as the infrastructure they are built upon.

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“Kubernetes has evolved from experimentation to production, and old-school security and compliance tools cannot possibly address the dynamism, scale, and exponential complexity of today’s cloud-native stack,” said Bill Mann, CEO, Styra. “We’re thrilled to partner with Accel as we reinvent policy and authorization to meet today’s privacy demands in the new stack—from Kubernetes and CICD to streaming databases, APIs, servicemesh, apps, cloud platforms, and more.”

Styra created OPA to solve authorization challenges that arise from the speed and scale of containerized application environments. The founders donated the project to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) to help it grow organically, based on solutions to real-world problems.

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“By providing businesses with a critical, unified layer of security and authorization that did not exist before, Styra has tackled some of the biggest challenges associated with cloud-native application development,” said Eric Wolford, Partner, Accel. “We’ve been partnering with Kubernetes visionaries and leaders since the industry was in its infancy. Just as we saw with Heptio and Sysdig, we believe Styra is going to drive the next wave of innovation as companies turn to containerization to speed and ease application development.”

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Following in the footsteps of projects like Kubernetes itself, as well as Prometheus and Envoy, OPA has quickly graduated from Sandbox into the Incubating stage within the CNCF. Hundreds of enterprise users including Netflix, CapitalOne, and Pinterest run OPA in production, and the project has grown well over 10x in the last year, with many millions of DockerHub pulls to date.

Building on the proven success of OPA, Styra’s commercial Declarative Authorization Service (DAS) provides a sophisticated management plane that provides context-based guardrails—built from a graphical policy library—to mitigate risks, reduce human error, and accelerate development. Styra DAS makes management of distributed OPA deployments possible, facilitates multi-cluster and multi-cloud management, and enables DevOps teams to prove security and compliance both internally and externally.

Forrester predicts that the public cloud market will grow from more than $140 billion today to $411 billion in 2022. Gartner, looking at the growth in containerization over the same timeframe, estimates that “more than 75% of global organizations will be running containerized applications in production,” up from less than 30% in 2019. This explosion of new cloud-native technology enables (and requires) automation and scale, to an extent that DevOps, Development, and IT teams have never experienced.

Styra enables enterprises to define, enforce, and validate security across their Kubernetes environments. With a combination of Open Source (Open Policy Agent) and commercial solutions (Declarative Authorization Service), Styra provides compliance guardrails to secure applications and ease compliance. Styra’s policy-as-code solution lets DevOps and Security teams mitigate risks, reduce human error, and accelerate app development.

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