Dug Song (BS, ’97) has called cybersecurity “The biggest geopolitical issue of our time.” And he and fellow U-M graduate Jon Oberheide (BS CS ’06, MSE CSE ’08, PhD ’12) have devised a billion-dollar solution: Duo Security. The Ann Arbor-based information security and software-as-a-service (SaaS) company that Song and Oberheide co-founded recently reached $1 billion in valuation—a unicorn, in tech parlance.
The newly minted unicorn cements Ann Arbor’s status as a tech hub to watch according to business magazine VentureBeat. The publication also called the company’s recent $70 million Series D “the largest round of venture capital raised by any company in Michigan history.”
Used by clients like ProQuest, Yelp, Kayak and U-M, Duo’s cloud-based two-factor authentication app was developed in Ann Arbor. And Song has no intention of leaving town as the company grows.
Song has long been a proponent of Ann Arbor as a great place for tech companies. In an interview about the startup community in the state of Michigan for The Michigan Engineer in 2014, he outlined his hopes for the area.
“I’d like to see a shift in the culture of the community where we’re not so afraid to try big things – to see them work or see them fail,” he said. “Startups are the punk rock of business. You go out to start an industry or do something great.”
Duo Security now ranks among the world’s most valuable private SaaS companies with total funding of $119 million, and a company post-money valuation of $1.17 billion. It has more than 10,000 customers and protects more than 300 million logins worldwide every month.