Roundup: Partners for Ping Identity, Datalogix; Craftsy’s Milestone

Three of Colorado’s biggest startups made notable moves this week. Ping Identity and Datalogix announced new partnerships with major companies that have the potential to greatly expand their reach into new markets. Meanwhile, Craftsy announced it hit a milestone.

Ping Identity, Sprint join forces: Denver-based Ping Identity has a new partner as it continues its push to into the mobile scene.

Wireless carrier Sprint announced today that it will now make Ping Identity’s PingOne cloud-based single sign-on and access management app part of its package of apps available for its business customers. PingOne lets end users access cloud-based business apps such as Google Apps, Salesforce, and Dropbox, while giving IT departments control over who can login to their networks.

PingOne will come bundled and preconfigured on Sprint’s business customers’ devices and allow them access to a “mobile-centric” version of Google Apps for Work. Initially access is limited to the Google Apps suite, but the plan is to add “thousands” of other cloud-based business apps over time, said Mike Kane, Ping Identity’s director of business development.

Sprint had about 54.6 million total customers at the start of the year. The company did not say how many of those were business customers, and it might take a few months before Ping Identity and Sprint know how many of them adopt PingOne, Kane said. But Ping Identity is eager to see its app in the hands of small- and medium-sized businesses.

“We’re in the early days, so we don’t have those numbers yet,” Kane said. “But think of the reach and scale Sprint has across the United States. That’s why we’re really excited about the partnership.”

In an interview last month, Ping Identity CEO Andre Durand hinted that working with wireless providers would be a new avenue for his company as it attempted to add customers and revenue. It was too soon to reveal many details of the deal, but Durand did say it could be a major new growth area.

The move to a mobile workforce and the “bring your own device (BYOD)” era has presented network security companies such as Ping Identity with new opportunities. There are now many more devices that need protection and safe integration into corporate networks. Over the past few years, Ping Identity began moving into that market segment, and this year released two mobile apps.

Along with PingOne, the company released PingID, which provides multi-factor authentication for companies that want another layer of user verification beyond traditional usernames and passwords.

Ping Identity has raised about $110 million from investors, including last month’s $35 million round led by Wall Street private equity firm KKR.

Sprint (NYSE: S), the third-largest wireless carrier in the U.S. based on the number of customers, began selling access to Google Apps for Work this summer. At the time, the move was reported as an attempt to expand Sprint’s business customer base as it plays catch up with Verizon and AT&T in that segment.

Datalogix Expands Reach: Datalogix, one of the biggest startups in Big Data, also has an important new partner. The company last week announced it is now working with comScore.

ComScore (NASDAQ: SCORE) tracks what people do online and says it measures and analyzes 1.5 trillion “digital interactions” each month. Advertisers, online publishers, and media companies use ComScore to measure audience response and engagement.

Datalogix, headquartered outside Denver, is best known for helping Facebook track whether the ads it serves up yield offline purchases, like those made in brick-and-mortar stores.

The partnership with comScore has similar objectives. ComScore clients will be able to use Datalogix to see if impressions from their online advertisements result in in-store purchases. With that data, advertisers can determine the most effective way to improve and run campaigns, the release said.

Datalogix’s database of consumer purchasing data is enormous, tracking $2 trillion worth of transactions from millions of households.

So far Datalogix has raised about $85 million, including a $45 million round it closed this spring. The company reportedly has put out feelers on Wall Street about going public soon.

Craftsy reaches milestone: Finally, Denver-based Craftsy said it is catching on more with its target audience. The company announced the number of users in its online community of quilters, knitters, photographers, and other arts and crafts enthusiasts, has passed the 5 million mark.

Craftsy produces online classes that include high-definition instructional videos and features that allow users to interact with teachers. Unlike other online education sites, Craftsy’s key customer base is women, as a quick glance at its list of more than 550 classes shows.

Customers pay Craftsy for each class, and the site also sells supplies and equipment.

The company, formed in 2010 under the name Sympoz, launched online in 2011. Since then it has raised $56 million from VCs, including a $35 million Series C round last year.

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