June 20, 2023

The authorization engine—investing in Oso

There’s a problem every business has—whether you’re a tech company, an apparel company, or anything in between—the problem of authorization. Application authorization is about control and access, ensuring the right user has the right permissions and access to information. Today, nearly every company builds complex software to solve this problem, integrating systems that need to talk to each other. 

Authorization is a problem for many developer teams because

  • Authorization is commingled directly with application code
  • The mental models for authorization aren’t widely understood
  • The existing solutions (typically based on FAANG papers or adjacent open source projects) are fundamentally flawed or overly complex and require an easier-to-manage alternative

Enter Oso, which provides Authorization as a Service. There is an accelerating need for apps to include fine-grained authorization, driven both by new features (e.g., collaboration) and heightened privacy concerns. Oso is already helping developers at Chief, Wayfair, Intercom, Productboard, Oyster HR, and thousands of others build applications 10x faster with 10x less risk. It’s easy to see why: the Oso Cloud product is opinionated with baked-in best practices, like the most appropriate way to model RBAC (role-based access controls). Still, it also provides flexibility and peace of mind if developers want to change their architecture in the future.

Today, Oso is announcing several features to make authorization even more straightforward for developers: 

  • A getting-started flow that will help engineers get up to speed faster 
  • The option to run Oso locally for fast feedback loops 
  • Policy testing which aligns neatly for teams with a Test-Driven Development approach
  • Oso Demo Environment: A fully configured environment that displays what supercharged authorization is like
  • Workbench: A tool to visually configure your authorization model 

We are proud to announce Felicis is leading Oso’s latest round of funding, and are thrilled to work with Graham, Sam, and the rest of the Oso team. Graham’s experience at MongoDB prepared him to build a stellar technical team, and we have no doubt Oso will follow in their footsteps. We’re also excited to be investing alongside some of the world’s greatest angel investors and operators like Olivier Pomel (Founder and CEO, Datadog), Armon Dadgar (Founder and CTO, Hashicorp), Christina Cacioppo (Founder and CEO, Vanta), Paul Copplestone (Founder and CEO, Supabase), Edith Harbaugh (Founder, LaunchDarkly), Dev Ittycheria (CEO, MongoDB), Calvin French-Owen (Founder, Segment), Eynat Guez (CEO, Papaya Global), Jack Altman (Founder and CEO, Lattice), Ryan Petersen (Founder, Flexport), David Petersen (Founder, BuildZoom), William Bengston (Hashicorp), Kris Beevers (Founder and CEO Netbox Labs) and advisor Abhishek Parmar (co-creator of Google Zanzibar & Airbnb Himeji).

Read more about Oso’s announcement in this post on their blog.