Business and cloud software company Workday has bought Trusted Key, an identity authentication company that uses blockchain technology, according to reports.
Trusted Key was started in 2016 by two former execs at Oracle and Microsoft. The company came out of Kernel Labs, which is a startup incubator based out of Seattle that has spun out a few successful companies in cutting-edge fields like machine learning and virtual reality.
Workday acquired Trusted Key because it wants to be able to move authentication credentials, like degrees, licenses and certifications, onto the blockchain.
Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology that acts as an underpin for digital currencies like bitcoin. The amount that Workday paid for Trusted Key was not disclosed.
“While the world of work has been transformed by technology, credentials haven’t changed much — today, they’re still largely offline and paper-based, and verifying a credential often requires a lot of manual effort and time,” said Jon Ruggiero, senior vice president at Workday, in a blog post. “With our new platform, Workday wants to change that by bringing credentials into the digital age.”
Trusted Key raised around $3 million last year in a funding round led by Founder’s Co-op and a Seattle-based venture capital firm called Pithia.
“[Trusted Key is] highly scalable for the every day high-volume transactions that Workday provides,” Pithia CEO Lawrence Lerner said. “Washington state is the hub for blockchain and where the world is turning its attention.”
Ruggiero spoke in more depth about the onboarding process and how there are new demands for workforces.
“Credentialing is an HR process in dire need of an update — the current verification process is manual, and it can take weeks to recruit and onboard workers. We’ve heard from customers that they need a faster, more efficient way to verify skills and industry certifications, ensuring that workers are properly credentialed and in compliance,” he said. “At the same time, there are changes in the workforce itself. It’s evolving to be more mobile, distributed, and diverse with different types of workers — contractors, gig workers, salaried, and hourly — and virtual team members are common in any global organization.”