Tacoma’s Revolving Venture Ecosystem: The story of Internet Identity

In 1996 two friends captured the idea for an Internet Security company while at a routine game night. From an idea to a vision, the friends mapped out the plan on a paper napkin on a flight together…twenty years later Internet Identity sold for $45 MM and now employees over 100 tech experts in the heart of downtown Tacoma.

What started out as a vision to build a tech company that provided domain management services and security protection against cyber attacks quickly grew into a variety of innovations surrounding the trending internet explosion.

Internet Identity pioneered customized email forwarding and streamlined corporate domain management. Throughout the years IID identified and established critical methods surrounding threat discovery and mitigation. IID provided Cyber Security for multiple Fortune 500 companies, most of which still benefit from their innovations.

Rod and Lars did what all great entrepreneurs do: work vigilantly to scale their business and bring their ideas to life. Over the two decades that Internet Identity refined its expertise, they experienced the ebb and flow of both success and failures.  

Supported by family and friends, they pushed through the hard times with determination and celebrated the good times. Rod credits IID’s many successful products to, “Being willing to try different ways of doing stuff, look at all of the possibilities and keep working to grow organically.” 

Confident in their mission and ideas, the partnership was keenly focused on getting their products in the right hands of companies that could benefit from their expertise. As Lars said, “Ideas were easy. The hard part was about the process of developing products and services that people wanted to buy.” It was this ethos that made IID the leading phishing mitigation services to the largest companies in the country.

After years of continued hard work, Rod and Lars sought capital investment to grow their business and expand their services. Moved by both the innovation and ethos of Internet Identity, a Tacoma Venture Fund founder invested in IID’s growth strategies and emerging ideas. The team continued to expand by taking advantage of opportunities in their rapidly evolving industry.

In 2016, Infoblox acquired IID to combine threat intelligence expertise with its own contextual network data. Infoblox valued the culture of the company and decided to maintain its offices in Tacoma where it now employs over 100 technology experts.

The acquisition not only brought expert technology jobs to Tacoma, but raised the profile of Tacoma’s start-up ecosystem.

Entrepreneurs at their core, Rod and Lars now give back by contributing their energy and expertise to the PNW venture ecosystem. They support local start-ups and support Tacoma Venture Fund.