Teleport raises $110M to simplify infrastructure access with identity for every user and app and device

Teleport raises $110M to simplify infrastructure access with identity for every user and app and device

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Cloud infrastructure access management startup Teleport said today it has become Silicon Valley’s latest unicorn after closing on a $110 million round of funding that brings its total amount raised to $169 million and its valuation to north of $1.1 billion.

Today’s Series C round was led by Bessemer Venture Partners and saw participation from Insight Partners, plus existing investors Kleiner Perkins and S28 Capital.

Teleport, which is officially known as Gravitational Inc., began life as an application management platform provider but more recently it has switched its focus to infrastructure access management. The company has created an open-source Access Plane technology that helps organizations get a better handle on the complexity of running applications and services in multiple clouds. It works by giving every single user, device, application and service an identity and consolidates four essential capabilities — connectivity, authentication, authorization and audit — to ensure access can only be granted to authorized users.

By enabling identity-based access for both humans and machines, Teleport said it eliminates all issues around network perimeter security while also reducing the attack surface area customers are exposed to. Its service also reduced operational overheads and helps to enforce security and compliance, the company claimed.

Teleport co-founder and Chief Executive Ev Kontsevoy told SiliconANGLE the company’s change of focus came after it identified a major and growing problem that most of its customers were struggling to deal with. He explained that while cloud environments are becoming increasingly complex and difficult to manage, the area of enterprise security access has lagged behind.

“While human-error has been the go-to scapegoat of cyberattacks, the major culprit is staring us right in the face – machines,” Kontsevoy said. “Malicious attackers are turning machines against each other, resulting in numerous and severe breaches. The ability to manage and secure access points, for humans and machines, is becoming impossible, especially using password-based approaches.”

Teleport’s identity-based access management platform helps to rein in these malicious attackers by providing a simpler and more secure way for engineers and the machines they operate to identify and authenticate themselves so they can access the resources they need. At the same time, it prevents unauthorized users and machines from doing so.

Kontsevoy explained that as the concept of network perimeter security dissolves, organizations have realized the limitations of existing security practices. “Identities, with varying degrees of privilege, must be issued to humans, machines and software,” he said. “Organizations invest in identity access solutions for their workforce, but they forget that applications and infrastructure can be used as springboards for hackers too.”

Holger Mueller of Constellation Research Inc. agreed that access management has become more complex by orders of magnitude as organizations shift workloads to the cloud. “Startups like Teleport make it easier for enterprises to stay on top of that complexity,” he said. “What matters is that Teleport not only allows access management for known SaaS properties, but also for new, strategic next-generation applications.”

Teleport said it almost tripled its revenue while doubling its customer base from 2020 to 2021, though it didn’t provide specific numbers. Its customers include big names such as Doordash Inc., Elastic N.V., Nasdaq Inc. and Snowflake Inc.

“Speed is key to our business. But so is security,” said Doordash software engineer Luke Christopherson. “The Teleport Access Plane allows our engineers to securely access the infrastructure they need to do their jobs without getting in the way of productivity. Everybody wins.”

Moving forward, Teleport said, its plan is to expand its go-to-market organization globally. At the same time, it will invest in research and development to try to tackle more complex security challenges for its customers.

Image: Teleport

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