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The Inflection Point: Why & Why Now

  |  Emmanuel Schalit

Today I am excited to share two important updates about Dashlane. We just closed a $110 million Series D led by Sequoia Capital, and Partner Jim Goetz is joining our board. Additionally, Joy Howard is joining as Chief Marketing Officer. Both announcements are fantastic news for Dashlane and are validation of our team’s hard work over the last few years. 

Jim and Joy bring invaluable expertise to our team. At Sequoia, Jim has led investments in category-defining businesses such as WhatsApp, GitHub, and HubSpot. Joy, who currently serves as CMO of Lyft, has two decades of experience working at some of the world’s most iconic brands, including leadership positions at Sonos, Patagonia, Nike, and Coca-Cola.  

New rounds of funding are always important milestones for companies, but recently, financing rounds have been so large that the size of the round becomes the main story. Instead, I would like to focus on why we started Dashlane, how we got to where we are, and why we decided to bring in this new capital and to strengthen our leadership team.  

This is a story about people and products. Both Jim and Joy’s first interactions with Dashlane were as customers. Dashlane helped secure their digital identities, and their belief in our product and mission is why they are joining our team. 


We started Dashlane almost ten years ago because we believed that, in a world where more and more of our personal and professional lives were going to migrate to the internet, everyone would need a solution to handle their digital identity.  

Our purpose hasn’t changed: Offer peace of mind in a digital world. The internet was supposed to be a utopia, but we are now overwhelmed by how our data is captured, monetized, and manipulated. Around the world, data privacy has emerged as one of the most important ideological battles of this generation, yet we still feel like we have nowhere to turn. Giving people a way to manage their digital identities is critical for the future of our culture and democracies.  

Dashlane is here to make digital life worry-free again. People use Dashlane at home and at work because we give them effortless control over their digital lives. We obsess over their online security, and nothing makes us prouder than the trust they place in us. We are the co-pilots of their digital security. 

But being right too early is no better than being wrong. Our journey to today was not an easy one, because, for a long time, the view was that the problem would simply solve itself. The common belief was that passwords were the issue, and something—someday—would make them go away.  

When we raised our Series A in 2011, most of the investors we met were convinced Facebook Connect would solve digital identity. Then, the leading thought was biometry would replace passwords. But all along, one trend prevailed: Our lives demanded more digital accounts across more devices and ecosystems than ever before, with no slowdown in sight. The digital identity problem wasn’t going away; it was getting worse. 

Why now? 

I first met with Jim Goetz three years ago, and ever since we have stayed in touch. We discussed a Sequoia investment in Dashlane as a future possibility, but it was never imminent. A few weeks ago, we met again and agreed that the time had come to partner, because both the company and the market were at an inflection point. 

This has to do with the progress of our company. I am proud of the work accomplished by the Dashlane team in the last three years to make this company the emerging market leader. Our growth continues to accelerate, and the recognition of our work by Jim and Sequoia is a powerful validation. 

Additionally, the changes in the mobile ecosystem make us more and more relevant. Apple, with iOS 12, and Google, with Android O & P, have opened their platforms to allow their users to select Dashlane as their identity provider in a way that enables us to work natively with all mobile apps. It is not only a breakthrough for iOS and Android users; it is also explicit confirmation of the strategic importance of what we do. 

Most importantly, the urgency around data privacy and security has reached a tipping point. Consumers and businesses have migrated so much of their critical data to the cloud, where the only things that protect that data are their logins and passwords. Because most people still use the same devices and easily hackable passwords in their personal and professional lives, password-related attacks are the entry point for more than 2/3 of all data breaches, and the attacks are conducted by large cyber-criminal organizations or nation-states with vast resources.  

Many consumers and businesses still do not know where to turn to address the problem. But the social, political, and economic tides are turning. The adoption of GDPR in Europe (with similar regulations coming to California next January) and the growing troubles of Facebook (and soon Google) when it comes to data privacy show that we are entering a different era. 

Bringing in this new capital and adding Joy’s talent as a leading brand builder is what we need to write the next chapter in our story. 

What next? 

Much of Dashlane’s success has come when we have managed to stay focused and avoided spreading ourselves thin with too many priorities. In some ways, this investment will make that even more critical and challenging. While we are always flexible in response to new opportunities and changes in the market, our post-investment strategy can be summarized by our significant commitment to three key areas: 

  1. Investing in R&D to further enhance our core product offering and add new capabilities. 
  2. Leveraging Joy’s expertise to build a category-defining brand that is synonymous with digital peace of mind. 
  3. Tailoring our product offering to better address the distinct needs of consumers and businesses of all sizes. 

Dashlane’s ultimate success will not be measured by how much money we raise, but by our ability to empower people and businesses around the world to take control of their digital lives. It depends on our ability to scale and solidify our market leadership and make the Dashlane brand synonymous with the category. It also depends on our ability to retain our identity and culture and stay true to our purpose, as we try to do more of everything, everywhere, faster than ever before.  

What I’m most excited about today is that we are still only scratching the surface of this opportunity. Billions of people and millions of businesses around the world feel the pain of digital identity—from breaches to stolen identities and the nuisance of remembering passwords—and few are even aware that there is a better way. We are going to change that. 

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