How to turn an untapped market into an IPO2 min read


It was early on in his time at Salesforce that Frederic Kerrest knew SaaS was going to be huge. On paper, enterprise on-premise software ruled the world, banking $500B in revenue a year. In comparison, Salesforce, which in 2002 was the only one charging on a subscription basis, had an ARR of around $25M. But Frederic knew that was destined to change. The tables would turn.

He spent five years at Salesforce, working in sales and business development. He started and built the Latin America sales organization, Mobile group and OEM / Reseller programs. This week’s guest on the SaaS Revolution Show, Frederic Kerrest, left Salesforce when he had learned a huge amount about SaaS and in 2009 co-founded Okta, a company that brought identity management to the cloud. 

Frederic and his co-founder Todd McKinnon had met in Salesforce. They took Identity management from the premises of behemoths like Oracle and IBM and put it on the cloud. They raised $1M in Seed initially, half of which came from Ben Horowitz and Marc Andreessen who were about to join forces and establish Andreessen Horowitz. From then on, their mission was to built a healthy independent software company. The way they saw it, that meant going for an IPO. They went public last year on NASDAQ.

Nearly a decade after Frederic co-founded the company, Okta has over 5100 customers, earns $300M in ARR and its shares have just reached an all-time high. And SaaS is stronger than ever, just as Frederic and Todd predicted it would be.

Listen on to learn:

  • What the road to IPO has been like for Frederic and Okta
  • What is essential in the preparation for it
  • What has played the biggest role in its success

Inspired by Okta and Frederic’s story we want to bring one lucky SaaS Revolution Show listener to SaaStock and SaaS.City for free, with something money can’t buy on top – an invite to our Speaker’s dinner. It’s a once in a lifetime chance to meet exceptional founders and have up-close conversations with them. To enter, go to and sign up for the raffle until Wednesday, September 19th at midnight. We will announce the winner at next week’s episode.

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