Michigan’s unicorn population has increased by one.
The Ann Arbor-based firm Duo Security's valuation soared north of $1 billion with the announcement of a $70 million Series D funding round Wednesday.
“The theme here is, in the last four years at least, we have either tripled or doubled our revenue every year,” cofounder and CEO Dug Song told Benzinga. “We’ve doubled our team every year.”
Duo's clients include Facebook Inc FB, Yelp Inc YELP and the University of Michigan.
Microsoft Corporation MSFT recently integrated Duo’s product line into the Azure Active Directory platform.
Duo's flagship product is the two-factor authentication system Duo Mobile. The firm has more than 10,000 customers and safeguards more than 300 million logins monthly, according to Wednesday’s announcement.
“What we provide in a cloud platform is an ability to securely manage their modern workforce,” Song said of his company’s clients.
The lead investors in the Series D funding round are Meritech Capital Partners and Lead Edge Capital.
‘We’re On A Mission To Democratize Security’
While cybersecurity has traditionally focused on defending the “front door” of networks, “hackers are streaming in through the back doors and side doors.” Song said. It’s a function of both the rise of mobile computing and hackers’ targeting of individuals rather than networks as a whole, he said.
Song compares the way hackers impersonate individual users to corrupt a network to a casino heist in “Ocean’s Eleven,” where a thief enters a casino dressed as a janitor or other low-level employee.
Cybersecurity is the largest geopolitical issue of our time, Song said.
“We’re on a mission to democratize security and make sure every company has the ability to keep itself safe.”
Why Ann Arbor?
Before Duo was launched in Ann Arbor in 2010, the company’s founder helped start the cybersecurity firm Arbor Networks and the startup cooperative Tech Brewery in the city.
Michigan as a whole has a long history of innovation, entrepreneurship and the launching of “significant, mass-market, foundational kind of businesses,” Song said.
“New York is about money. LA is about fame. D.C. is about power,” Song said. “Ann Arbor represents learning.”
The college town’s vibe reflects the culture at Duo, he said.
“We are committed to learning well together and from each other.”
Duo Security CEO and cofounder Dug Song, left, with CTO and cofounder Jon Oberheide. Courtesy photo.
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