Based in Oakland, Teleport was founded as Gravitational in 2015 with a vision of simplifying and securing access for developers to all parts of the enterprise and data center infrastructure, focusing on newer computing stacks built with container technologies like Kubernetes. The company’s vision is to give the right access to the right parts of the infrastructure to the right people at the right time to prevent outages and the financial impact that accompanies them.
Despite great technology and a huge addressable market, Teleport remained under the radar of top-tier investors because their story was too complex. Moreover, there were already large, established companies in a category called “Privileged Access Management”, so most assumed these vendors had solved the infrastructure access problem. Bateman Agency recognized immediately that there was a perception issue in the marketplace about Teleport. If they had a view at all, most industry observers viewed the company as an IT/DevOps play. What was most apparent was the company was NOT viewed as a cyber security company by the media, analysts and especially by CISOs making buying decisions.
Bateman Agency hit the ground running by introducing Teleport to the right set of industry analysts in secure access, helping them understand that Teleport’s technology represented the next generation privileged access management — with the potential to usurp the PAM market from slow-moving, first generation leaders such as CyberArk, One Identity, Thycotic and BeyondTrust. With the pandemic still raging and remote or hybrid working becoming normalized, Teleport found itself at the intersection of several emerging trends: the need to consolidate remote access; the increased complexity of computing infrastructure; and the failings of the traditional secret-based security model.
The strategy? To create a new category called “Infrastructure Access” that replaced secret-based security with one based on identity — issuing automatically expiring certificates to machines, humans and applications. Our goal was to get the word out that Teleport is leading the transformation to a secretless security model, but with a laser-sharp focus on maintaining developer productivity.
Teleport considers itself a product-led brand, so we leaned into its product roadmap heavily by establishing a quarterly launch release cadence for Teleport versions 8, 9 and 10. Despite trade media’s aversion to product news, each one of Teleport’s new releases were so packed with innovations and carefully linked to trending topics that results grew with each launch instead of declining. Product news was regularly covered in VentureBeat; CSO Magazine; SD Times; The Security Podcast; TechStrong TV; and dozens of other trades. In just six months, Teleport became THE security startup to watch.
Investors were now not only watching, but lining up to invest. On May 3, 2022, we announced Teleport’s $110 million Series C fundraise at a $1.1 billion post-money valuation. Bessemer Venture Partners led with participation from Insight Partners, Kleiner Perkins and S28 Capital, bringing Teleport’s total raised to $169 million. Coverage was secured in TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and Dark Reading, among others.
Now that we had succeeded in putting Teleport on the cyber security map, it was time to evolve the program to achieve complete domination of the emerging category of Infrastructure Access. We conceptualized and executed their first “State of Infrastructure Access and Security” report, covered here by VentureBeat and soon to be released in its second iteration. We also slowly built a very results-driven Rapid Response program using Teleport CEO Ev Kontsevoy, who is now considered a “go-to” source any time there is a high-profile outage or for anything access related. Sample commentary coverage includes The Hill, ThreatPost and TechTarget. We’ve also seen much success with corporate awards since recruiting previously presented a major business challenge. Our submissions netted Teleport a SaaS Award finalist slot, a Comparably Best Places to Work Top 50 placement, a spot on the Inc. Magazine 5000 and a Fortune “Great Places to Work” designation.