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Stormpath Launches Plug-and-play Login Service, Gets $8.2 Million in Financing

Stormpath, a cloud-based authentication and user management, formally launched its service on Tuesday, and at the same time announced that it has raised $8.2 million in new financing.

Stormpath provides a simple API that allows developers to drop, "plug-and-play" style, the entire user login and authentication component, into their Web and mobile applications, Alex Salazar, CEO of Stormpath, told SecurityWeek. The goal is to let Stormpath worry about making sure the user is allowed to access the application, and let the developer focus on actual functionality and features, he said.

Stormpath LogoThe API concept isn't so strange, as developers already use APIs for other components, such as automated payment processing. The service is generally available as of today, and Stormpath formally exited its beta period with more than 1,000 users, according to Stormpath.

“We’re entering the age of plug-and-play architecture, where developers can easily and securely offload commodity infrastructure – like user management, billing, and logging – to API services,” Salazar said in a statement.

Stormpath generally will have better resources and in-depth expertise to handle security and user authentication better than developers. By offloading the entire process, developers don't have to deal with login, password reset and account management. Security is critical to cloud applications, and "getting it wrong" can be costly to businesses, as Sony found out only two years ago, Salazar noted.

Developers not having to worry about building the login infrastructure for every new application—whether for the Web or for mobile—mean they can speed up the time-to-market for many of these applications.

The intersection between identity and cloud development, the identity management market, is expected to grow to $12 billion in 2014, according to numbers from Forrester Research. External-facing cloud applications require robust user management and security infrastructure to handle authentication and access. With cloud adoption continuing to grow, Stormpath is betting that there will be a strong demand for its service from developers who don't want to worry about, or don't have the resources to deploy and maintain, the back-end infrastructure.

While developers can access the user management service for free, premium features are offered under a subscription-based pricing model.

New Enterprise Associates and Pelion Venture Partners led the $8.2 million in Series A financing round, with participation from Flybridge Capital Partners, the company said. Before the Series A financing, Stormpath had a seed round from NEA and Flybridge, and an angel round led by Andy Rachleff, co-founder of Benchmark Capital and CEO of WealthFront.

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Fahmida Y. Rashid is a Senior Contributing Writer for SecurityWeek. She has experience writing and reviewing security, core Internet infrastructure, open source, networking, and storage. Before setting out her journalism shingle, she spent nine years as a help-desk technician, software and Web application developer, network administrator, and technology consultant.