Bitium gets $2.4M to be 'the' operating system for SaaS

Amplify-backed startup aims to be the Microsoft in the cloud computing era

Financial trends and news by Bambi Francisco Roizen
April 17, 2013
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If you've ever had to be the administrator of your staff's SaaS applications, you know how tedious it can be to add new accounts and take off old ones. Wouldn't it be so much more convenient to have one dashboard that can manage all of those accounts? As they say, "There's an app for that."

Bitium, which has quietly been building up its service since launching in March 2012, is now open for business. Oh and importantly, it's raised $2.4 million in a seed round of financing from Resolute VC and well-known angels, including Michael Lazerow, founder and CEO of Buddy Media, which was sold to Salesforce, Rob Glaser, who founded RealNetworks and took it public, Alex Bard, who founded Assistly and sold it to Salesforce, as well as Hiten Shah and Sean Ellis, and some Southern California funds, Double M Partners, Social Leverage and Karlin Ventures.

The Venice Beach, Calif-based startup was part of the Amplify.LA accelerator, the group that helped make most of the investor introductions for Bitium, said co-founder and CEO Scott Kriz, whose founding partner is Erik Gustavson, CTO of Bitium. Both men previously founded separate companies and had more recently worked together at other venture-backed startups.

Managing apps across the enterprise is clearly a needed service, even for a relatively smaller shop like Vator. We probably use about 15 apps consistently. Managing those accounts separately is inefficient, given the growing number of apps we continue to adopt. It's no doubt that the problem gets more acute once a company hits 50-to-100 employees. Kriz says that the average number of apps a company (with 100 employees) manages is 40. Indeed, worldwide SaaS revenue will hit $22.1 billion by 2015, according to Gartner Research, an indication of a growing trend in SaaS app usage.

Software built for the Web browser exist independently, said Kriz. Bitium wants to make the experience and interaction with the different apps a more seamless and integrated one.

"Microsoft was the operating system for client server, we’re the operating system for SaaS," he added.

So what does Bitium offer that other services like Okta and OneLogin don't? For one, Bitium's product has a free version, said Kriz.

Additionally, its vision is much larger.

"The biggest diffeentiator is that they're focused on identity access msnagement, and we’re focused on a much bigger picture – we want to help people get more out of the apps they use today."

Bitium is free to use. A free account allows companies to manage as many user accounts on a dashboard, and have a messaging center, essentially a consolidated stream of messages that reside across the different services. 

For $399 a month, a company can get premium features, such as being able to see who accesses which apps and when, or creating group accounts.

Today, Bitium integrates with 300 apps, like Amazon Web Services, Twitter, Salesforce and Yammer. It has also been working with in beta with 30 companies, which have about 100 employees each.