Customer story

Clearbit accelerates development by replacing in-house auth with Stytch

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Clearbit is a data intelligence company that uses AI to provide B2B companies with powerful, contextual insights about their customers and prospects. Last year, Clearbit migrated from authentication infrastructure that was built and maintained in-house to Stytch’s B2B auth solution.

Auth evaluation criteria

As Clearbit grew, their in-house auth system struggled to keep up with the demands of their expanding business. It was requiring more and more engineering resources to maintain and support authentication against a growing list of requirements. Seeking alternatives, Clearbit had two main goals:

  • Enhance their onboarding flow to support a new product-led growth (PLG) motion, providing a secure mechanism for users to easily sign up, integrate their CRM, and collaborate with teammates, without also letting in an influx of spam
  • Support the increasingly complex demands of enterprise customers that their in-house system didn’t cover, including more robust single sign-on (SSO) capabilities, auto-provisioning of accounts, and custom settings per organization

They needed the control and flexibility of an in-house auth solution, but the cost-predictability, scale, and domain expertise of a third-party provider. Clearbit also wanted to ensure their next solution would cover their authentication and authorization needs not just in the near term, but for years to come.

In their vendor evaluation, Clearbit found that Stytch’s comprehensive solutions for enterprise-grade B2B multi-tenant auth were uniquely suited to tackle these goals. And when Clearbit was acquired by Hubspot mid-integration, causing priorities to shift rapidly, Stytch was able to ensure that Clearbit had the support they needed during the pivot, including adding Hubspot OAuth on a tight timeline.

Why Clearbit selected Stytch

Stytch not only met Clearbit’s core requirements for scale, operational support, and authentication methods, but it also stood apart by offering:

  • Native multi-tenant architecture for granular control of enterprise B2B auth settings
  • High-converting, passwordless self-serve onboarding for their new PLG motion
  • Close partnership and responsiveness from the Stytch team
  • Built-in device fingerprinting to prevent abuse of their PLG sign-up flow
  • Reduced engineering maintenance to support custom flows
  • A future-proof B2B auth flow, with additional features like RBAC built-in

Multi-tenant architecture for B2B auth

Stytch’s multi-tenant architecture provided Clearbit with the infrastructure to easily build and manage key enterprise auth features such as SAML authentication, integration with OAuth providers, and auto-provisioning. Enabling different auth requirements and settings for different customers was simply an API call away via the Stytch platform.

While Clearbit’s previous in-house system had supported basic implementation of features like SSO, Stytch’s B2B SaaS offering dramatically reduced the resources needed to manage these multi-org permissions and features across an increasingly diverse customer base.

“Because Stytch’s B2B auth product is purpose-built for multi-tenancy, we can adapt to customer requirements in a fraction of the time.” 

Wade Tandy, Staff Software Engineer

Passwordless product-led onboarding

Previously, Clearbit had used traditional password-based auth and needed to deal with the persistent hassle of resets and customer support. Stytch’s support for passwordless organization creation and discovery made it easy for Clearbit to add a product-led onboarding motion to their B2B product.

New self-serve customers could sign up using magic links and CRM-based OAuth logins (e.g. ‘sign in with Hubspot’), and then either ‘discover’ existing an existing organization, or opt to create a new one. This change increased security compared to the previous password-based login flow while also letting customers integrate their CRMs and collaborate with teammates faster than ever before.

Close collaboration and partnership

Clearbit highlighted the Stytch team's responsiveness to their needs and continued support, both during and after integration, as a big win. This ranged in scale from quick one-off questions about user issues to the Stytch team quickly adding Hubspot OAuth capabilities following Clearbit’s acquisition.

Protection from self-serve abuse

In expanding from a more sales-driven motion to accommodate product-led growth, the Clearbit team knew that they would see a dramatic increase in the number of sign-ups. Removing barriers to entry in a PLG motion was an exciting potential source of growth, but it also opened up new avenues for spam and abuse that the Clearbit team wanted to proactively prevent.

Stytch’s device fingerprinting product allowed Clearbit to implement account abuse prevention into their authentication flow without adding user friction, ensuring the move to a product-led growth (PLG) model could be both high-converting and secure.

“With the move to a PLG model, we knew we'd need to do more to be able to trust the accounts coming in. When we started talking to Stytch, the device fingerprinting solution was perfect for that - it was in the right place at the right time.” 

Wade Tandy, Staff Software Engineer

Reduced engineering maintenance

Stytch’s comprehensive solution and the ability to quickly integrate new authN and authZ features enabled Clearbit’s developers to easily upgrade their auth as needed instead of maintaining their in-house auth systems.

The Clearbit team also valued the additional confidence that came from working with a third-party authentication provider with deep expertise on authentication and security best practices. Rather than having to think through edge cases and security implications themselves each time they needed to make an auth change, the Clearbit team knew that they could rely on Stytch to help them handle every scenario.

“We knew we needed to upgrade our in-house auth, and that would be a big undertaking. We didn’t touch our in-house auth much, so people didn’t have much context on it, someone had to re-learn the system every time. And depending on the person they may not have the context or security expertise to bring to those decisions. Thinking through that stuff is nontrivial, so having a partner who was thinking through these problems for us and could allow us to be more lean with what we were maintaining was a lot of the motivation in moving to Stytch.” 

Wade Tandy, Staff Software Engineer

Future-proofing support for new features

Clearbit went into their evaluation knowing that they wanted their next authentication provider to grow and scale with them. Stytch’s multi-tenant infrastructure and feature depth gave them the confidence they needed to pick Stytch as a partner for scalable and flexible B2B auth.

Clearbit also appreciated that Stytch’s platform covered additional features, like role-based access control (RBAC), that they may not need right now, but will likely need later. Rather than having to build new systems or add on an additional provider, Stytch will be there when their team is ready.

“RBAC has been on our minds for a while - improving permissioning and roles in our system. But we hadn’t prioritized finding time to build that ourselves. Now that we have Stytch, suddenly there’s an RBAC system we can use, and all we have to do is add a new auth type. So we could see a big improvement without a lot of engineering effort.” 

Wade Tandy, Staff Software Engineer

Relevant Stytch Products Used

The Bottom Line

Like any B2B SaaS company, Clearbit is continuously evolving. As Clearbit has grown their enterprise customer base, launched a new product-led growth motion, and now joined forces with Hubspot, change has yielded enormous challenges and opportunities alike.

Throughout these key transitions, Stytch's B2B authentication solutions, designed for multi-tenant environments, consistently helped Clearbit meet the diverse and growing needs of their expanding customer base with a fraction of the engineering resources.

“The Stytch team has been a great partner. We’ve really appreciated the open and responsive way they worked with us, and how they’re continually improving and expanding the product. Having the world move forward without me having to move it forward myself is really nice.” 

Wade Tandy, Staff Software Engineer

What can Stytch do for you?

Jump into the Stytch Docs to learn more about our B2B auth solution — or sign up for a free account to try them out for yourself. Have questions? Reach us via Slack, Stytch Forum, or email.