I have news to share. Teleport has just secured $110M in Series C funding to keep growing the business that I started with my co-founders Sasha Klizhentas and Taylor Wakefield in 2015. This is exciting for founders and employees, but I think it is also excellent news for all software engineers who are crying out for a better way to manage secure access to their mission-critical cloud infrastructure. More on that below.
This round of funding was led by Bessemer Venture Partners, with significant participation from Insight Venture Partners following Teleport's record-breaking quarter, with net new annual recurring revenue up 4.5x and total annual recurring revenue up 2.8x year over year. The new round values the company at $1.1 billion, and it comes less than a year after our $30M Series B investment. Mary D'Onofrio from Bessemer will be joining the board, with Matt Koran joining as a board observer, representing Insight Venture Partners. I couldn't be more excited and I will tell you why, but I think it is also helpful to hear why investors are excited so I asked Mary and Matt if I could share their thoughts here.
Infrastructure access is a new and exciting product category, and as the market quickly evolves, Teleport is leading the transformation. Its secretless security model and focus on developer productivity, along with fantastic logos like Nasdaq, Doordash, and Snowflake, make Teleport a category-defining company that we are thrilled to partner with.
~ Mary D'Onofrio
We've been following Teleport's trajectory since the release of 1.0 on GitHub. Insight has made several investments in the cyber security and privileged access management space, so we've got plenty of CISOs and CTOs in our network who are convinced that Teleport's unique approach is a must-have in 2022 and beyond. We're excited to join the team and build this future together.
~ Matt Koran
New product category: Infrastructure Access
So that is why our investors are excited. Why am I excited? We're proud of the round size and happy with the valuation we have received. Fundraising is partly a lagging indicator, a testament to our revenue growth and quality of our customers. But there's also a strong belief shared by many engineers and – especially now – by investors, that Infrastructure Access is an important new product category worth paying attention to. This is the exciting part.
Let me offer an explanation.
Historically, accessing computing infrastructure has been done using remote access protocols built into every layer of a tech stack. Linux servers use SSH, Windows machines rely on RDP, Kubernetes offers an API, databases have their own protocols, and web-based monitoring dashboards and CI/CD tools depend on web technologies like SAML for access.
Some of these technologies are more secure than others, but the biggest problem is that there are simply too many of them. Each layer has its own auth/authz, encryption, audit, and requires its own firewall rule. This complexity has only been getting worse across several dimensions:
- A computing environment today has more technology layers than ever before. This puts pressure on DevOps teams to have in-house expertise for securing all of them.
- The engineering teams are growing, often including outside contributors, making provisioning and deprovisioning of access difficult. On top of all that, employees have become more distributed as more companies go remote and perimeter-based security approaches are not scaling.
- The infrastructure itself has gotten more elastic, more varied and globally distributed.
- Existing remote access solutions often depend on passwords, private keys, API keys, browser cookies and other forms of secrets.
- Security best practices often present engineers with excess of red tape, interfering with productivity.
At Teleport, we recognized these trends back in 2016 when we built the very first early prototype and posted it on GitHub.
Our first strong conviction was that remote access should not be siloed. Remote access must be consolidated, because having a single source of truth not only improves security but also lowers operational overhead and makes end user experience better.
Another important consideration was to move away from a secret-based security model. The mere presence of a secret makes an organization exposed to a probability of it leaking due to improbable but inevitable human error. The more secrets accumulate as an organization scales, the higher the probability of a breach.
What should secrets be replaced with? Identity.
What does moving away from secrets to identity look like? It means issuing automatically expiring certificates to machines, humans, and applications. This leaves a single secret to protect (the Certificate Authority), and so this approach scales without compromising security.
Over the years of building Teleport, we've put a lot of effort into prioritizing user experience (UX) and convenience without sacrificing security. We wanted Teleport to not get in the way of working. We wanted engineers to feel like their entire infrastructure gets “teleported” into the same room with them.
Initially Teleport was conceived as an internal project which we used for managing access to geographically distributed Kubernetes clusters, which we open sourced in 2016. Awareness of the project spread quickly, and soon we found ourselves answering unsolicited pricing questions. Teleport now has over 11,000 GitHub stars and hundreds of customers. Thousands of users trust Teleport to protect their critical infrastructure.
Today, there is no doubt in my mind that an Infrastructure Access platform is absolutely a new market category. Soon, every organization that builds cloud software will have to have one. Our own customers, including the most advanced tech companies born and raised in Silicon Valley, agree with this. Secure, consolidated access is critical, but it also needs to be easy to use. That's exactly what Doordash loves about Teleport.
Speed is key to our business. But so is security. 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.
~ Luke Christopherson, Software Engineer
This round signifies the importance of this market trend, and elevates the awareness and urgency of moving away from perimeter-based security and static secret-based credentials. The growing frequency of data breaches suggests that the time is right.
Teleport is available as an open source download. We believe that developing in the open is an important part of building secure products. We also believe that the industry best security practices must be accessible to everyone, regardless of their budget.
Teleport is growing rapidly. We have hundreds of feature requests on GitHub, ranging from supporting additional resource types, like new types of databases, to better integrations with leading cloud providers and other cyber security vendors.
We are a product-led company, so the majority of these resources will be invested into building Teleport. We will continue with our unique approach of delivering industry security best practices without sacrificing engineering productivity.
One of the most important aspects of growing our product is making Teleport more accessible. In addition to constantly improving the open source and enterprise self-hosted downloadable versions, we will continue to make investments in making our cloud-based offering globally available.
We're innovating on the client side too. Most engineers would agree that collectively our command line terminals and web browsers are overloaded with tabs. The culprit is – again – the siloed nature of remote access, with each tab representing a separate remote session with its own set of credentials. That's why we've just launched an early preview of a dedicated secure web browser for accessing infrastructure, called Teleport Connect. This is an important milestone as we continue our mission of building secure solutions that also increase productivity.
To succeed, we'll need your feedback and participation. To try Teleport for yourself:
- Download or sign up for an evaluation here.
- Join our community Slack channel to learn from other Teleport users.
- Take a look at the documentation.
Interested in joining Teleport? We are hiring for numerous positions all over the world, please visit our careers page.
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