Before 2014, Avatao was just an idea a few graduate students had for a side project. But that year, our founders decided to go after their goal of teaching cybersecurity in a highly scalable and practical way. Their idea became a success, and Avatao was born, allowing learners all around the world to acquire highly specialized security knowledge.
Read on to find out more about our story!
Due to our experience in the hacker community, our initial focus was on Capture-the-Flag (CTF) challenges. But we soon discovered the true root of the problem: developers understood the software they were using, but what they lacked was secure coding knowledge. This realization caused us to shift our focus towards teaching security from the very beginning. This is how we can best share the knowledge that we acquired in the cybersecurity community.
We believe in delivering the right knowledge to the right people at the right time. Our platform and team are adapting quickly to meet the needs of a new era of cybersecurity. The digital space is rapidly transforming, so our responsibility to proactively defend companies from cyber attacks is also growing. Avatao embraces all the challenges we face in order to bring about meaningful changes in our clients’ security culture.
Avatao was founded by Márk, Gábor, and Levente as a side project of CrySyS Lab at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics. All of our founders are cybersecurity professionals who were teaching at the university at that time.
By 2016, the Avatao secure coding training platform had become so popular that we decided to release it to the public.
In 2017 we received our first investment and moved into a new office.
In 2018 we received our seed funding, which allowed us to not only expand to international markets, but also to hire more and more talented, smart, and motivated team members.
By 2020, our team had grown to 18 people, we’d launched a new version of the platform, and had increased our presence abroad. We moved into a bigger and better office, though we visit it less frequently nowadays since we’ve started working remotely. The passion that drives Avatao currently comes from Szeged, Debrecen, Budapest, and the Research Triangle in North Carolina.
In the beginning of 2021 we closed an investment round with 212. We are focusing on boosting our international growth, and on creating an engaging product that enables our customers to become security conscious organizations.
Our experience in cybersecurity
Avatao was founded by seasoned security professionals and instructors at the CrySyS Lab from Technical University of Budapest, Hungary. The CrySyS Lab team became well-known for their work on high-profile targeted attack investigations. In 2011, the team discovered and analyzed Duqu, a successor of the well-known Stuxnet malware which targeted critical infrastructure. In the following years, the team was involved in several high-profile investigations of the Flame, MiniDuke, and TeamSpy malware.
The CTO of Avatao founded a student hacker team, !SpamAndHex, in 2013 that regularly competed in professional CTF competitions. Within two years, this hacker team became a top 5 hacker team in the world competing with the best teams from around the world.
This hacking expertise motivated the founders to create Avatao, a unique platform covering real-life security breaches and bug bounty examples.
The Avatao team has decades of cybersecurity teaching experience, including secure coding both in academia and in industry. Our security training is more than just a learning platform. The Avatao business and customer success team consults all enterprise customers on how to effectively build a security training program and engage developers using webinars, curated learning content, and engaging Capture the Flag competitions.
If you’re self-driven and looking for growth opportunities in a startup environment, visit our Careers page to see if we have an open position that could be a good fit for you!
If you’d like to learn more about our values and what it’s like to work at Avatao, click the link and find out more about our company culture!