Dashlane taps JD Sherman, ex-Hubspot COO, as new CEO, as co-founder Emmanuel Schalit steps aside – TechCrunch

Our dependence on Internet-based services is at an all-time high these days, and has brought a new focus on how well we stay safe when online. Today some news comes from one of the big companies working in the field of password protection, which describes how business is shifting for companies providing these devices.

Emmanuel Schalit is the co-founder of the popular password manager Dashlane, Is stepping down as the CEO of a startup. He is being replaced by JD Sherman, HubSpot’s former COO, as Dashlane plans to move more business users to the court more aggressively.

“This is about thinking about the next stage of our scaling strategy, more B2B monetization after consolidating in B2C,” Sherman said in an interview, praising his prewar growth of the consumer business And keeping in mind his realization that “B2B was not for him.”

In contrast, Sherman’s career focus has been about B2B. Prior to his eight years at HubSpot, he was CFO of Akamai (which, as a CDN, also had security as a focus, in a completely different way), and IBM before that.

Since accepting the offer, Sherman (pictured right) has been quietly working with Shalit – who will no longer hold an operational role – to rise to speed and formally act in early February.

Sherman is based out of Boston and will eventually enter Dashlane’s headquarters in New York (“eventually” because everyone is working remotely at the moment, with Sherman himself being hired in a virtual process).

Changing the guard brings interesting times for startups. Dashlane now has 15 million users, up from 10 million + in 2019. The same year Dashlane announced two significant rounds of funding in six weeks apart from each other: the first A. $ 30 million round (Which has appeared Some debt as part of), then a $ 110 million Series D Which gives the company a value of over $ 500 million. Its backers include the likes of Sequoia, Bessemer, FirstMark, Rho Ventures and consumer credit reporting giant TransUion.

Sherman will not talk about the current valuation, nor where the company is currently saying about its next financial steps, except that it is a good place to go and provide the smallest indication of an IPO on the horizon.

“Series D was a healthy phase for a membership business,” he said. “Right now, the cash flow is solid and we have the necessary funds for our development, so there is no immediate plan to raise funds. When we do, we will see if this is an IPO round ”- that is, the last round before the IPO – or not. For me, it is about growing the business. “

My guess is the increase in valuation that has made headlines for companies that are using the Internet safely, given the increase in user numbers, the growth of their enterprise business, and the huge market changes over the past year. (Also, note that LogMeIn, which owns competitor LastPass, was picked up by PE companies About 4.3 billion dollars A deal that was completed last year.)

The establishment of Dashlane was primarily focused on providing password management tools for consumers. These still account for the majority of their users, but the Series D funding was meant to make a big push into the business market to open up Usually get on the radar of more people.

The expansion into business users was a natural step in more ways than one. First, consumer service is designed as a Freemium offer, While businesses provide more Stable and guaranteed revenue stream. Second, there is a natural progression that comes from being a happy consumer user: you will want the same service for your online work life. This remains the strategy for Sherman.

“There are two aspects to the business of the scheme,” he said, using the well-worn consumer-to-business analogy of a flywheel to describe how it would work: “the more it will use , The more businesses will adopt. It becomes comfortable with using the password manager. “

As a large increase in online activity over the past year, that strategy has been getting a glut recently.

All your shopping, entertainment, social and work-related needs have been brought online in the last year, pushed into the virtual arena by the emergence and frequent presence of the easily infectious and dangerous COVID-19 virus.

Some in that shift thought that many people had done a better job, and now, some believe that even when the epidemic comes under control, many of us still use the Internet to do all those things regularly. Will do as you please. .

But when I hear a lot of industry people describe a situation like “the genie is out of the bottle”, maybe a more appropriate expression might be that Pandora’s box has opened. That is to say, the increased online usage has created a dangerously large opportunity for malicious hacking, security breaches and misuse of our identities.

This results in a very direct link in Dashlane.

Password protection is one of the most important elements of protecting yourself and your information, with weak, stolen and reused passwords being some of the biggest causes of security breaches for both consumers and businesses (by some estimates) , You can track 80–90% back on all security breach password issues).

Beyond this, the current market has become more concerned about privacy and security, at least because of all the violations we’ve seen now (A trend in all kinds of ways), And prohibited too much awareness and hunger for the type of device that Dashlane, and other companies that enable better online security, provide.

There will probably continue to be a development in the technology to block both when they try to outsmart the bad actors and enter the network, and the technology sold to organizations to more securely keep themselves and their customers’ information in the cloud. Methods will also improve. But above and beyond, password managers are likely to continue to play a role in the mix.

Password Manager may not always be a perfect solution – there has been a Some cases of violations Over the years, and while they have not been in recent times, security York University Researcher in May 2020 Potentially exploitable vulnerabilities can be identified – but they remain a relatively easy option for end users so that they can be more secure in protecting their identities in a better way, especially to protect their passwords. remain active. (Amidst all this, it is also worth noting that Dashlane has never had a breach in 10+ years of operation.)

And there are several routes to provide password management, including efforts by platform players themselves and more direct dashlane contestants such as 1Password and LastPass. In particular, some attempts to bridge something together, such as The “OpenYolo” project was conducted by Google and Dashlane, is Hold on for yearsPartly due to the complexity of implementing this with other current managers.

But even within that fragmented, competitive, and (still) weak market, Dashalen still has plenty of growth opportunities.

“Business is strong and growing,” Sherman said. “The madness around COVID and remote networking has raised the profile of password management and security in general. It is a more difficult environment, but there is a tail. “