step down

After more than 11 years at the helm, Janrain founder Larry Drebes is stepping aside for a new CEO. 

Portland, Ore.-based Janrain, a provider of customer identity management solutions, announced today that Jim Kaskade is replacing Drebes, who will stay on as CTO. Kaskade was formerly VP and GM of digital applications at Falls Church, Va.-based CSC, a provider of information technology (IT) services and solutions.

At the same time it starts a new chapter, Janrain — which as recently as December claimed it was founded in 2005 — is rewriting its own history and officially backdating its founding to 2002. Although Janrain offered its first product in 2005, it was incorporated three years earlier. 

By that timeline, Drebes has been the top guy for about 14 years ... a fact that conflicts with his own LinkedIn profile

But give or take a few years, Drebes still describes himself as "the luckiest guy in the world."

'Smaller, More Nimble' Growth Company

Kaskade says he’ll spend the first 90 days getting to know the team and Janrain customers. “I spend an equal amount of time talking to our clients, learning where their pain points and opportunities are and becoming mindful of how our strategy can evolve to create even more business impact for customers," he said.

Kaskade led CSC's newly formed digital applications business in the Americas, which leveraged analytics, mobile, cloud and cyber security to help clients become digital businesses. Before that, he led the company's big data and analytics efforts.

A seasoned executive, he said he's built high-tech products, teams and businesses and also spent more than 10 years in leadership roles developing enterprise data warehousing, data mining and business intelligence solutions.

Jim Kaskade headshot
Kaskade heard about Janrain through an investor, John Kim.

“John couldn’t stop talking about his excitement about a new portfolio company investment, and I couldn’t stop talking about how I wanted to take my learnings from CSC back to a smaller, more nimble growth company,” Kaskade said, calling Janrain "a pioneer that created the category analysts now refer to as customer identity and access management.”

Kim is the co-founder and managing partner at HighBar Partners, which led Janrain's $27 million Series D funding round last December. Existing investors Millennium Technology Value Partners, Split Rock Partners, Epic Ventures, Emergence Capital, RPM Ventures and DFJ Frontier also participated in the round.

As part of the funding round, Kim joined Janrain's Board of Directors.

Enabling a Single View of Customers

Janrain said it would use the investment to grow its platform and broaden its scope to include deeper analytic insight into user engagement.

Identity management "sits in the middle" of digital transformation, Kaskade said, noting that the company's customer identity management platform gives a single view of customers across all devices through data to power personalized marketing. Janrain provides customer insights, social login and engagement tools to clients including Pfizer, Samsung and Whole Foods.

“As our strategy at Janrain evolves, you will see us begin to leverage this fact to provide more sophisticated behavioral analytics services for marketing and sales executives as well as security executives,” Kaskade said.