Helping a Silicon Valley Cyber-Security Startup Emerge with $10M

About the
Case Study

Permiso is a Silicon Valley startup that specializes in safeguarding digital identities within cloud platforms. The platform monitor and respond to security threats by analyzing identity-related activities, aiming to quickly identify and address vulnerabilities. Their approach simplifies understanding complex security alerts, helping prevent breaches linked to identity compromises.

As the founding Design Director hired during stealth mode, I led a small multi-skilled team and was tasked with defining the design vision for product, brand, and marketing, in close collaboration with the founders. This case study showcases both conceptual and finalized work, highlighting the essence of the holistic design direction established.


UX Research &
Design Strategy

A comprehensive UX feedback methodology was developed, engaging key users to gather insights, create personas, conduct competitor analysis, and prioritize features. Internal design workshops fostered a culture of design, while continuous engagement with partners refined the product. UX research shaped the overall design strategy by identifying detailed use cases and aligning tasks with goals. This facilitated seamless collaboration with developers to swiftly launch and refine an MVP, accelerating the product's evolution.


Leveraging continuous feedback from users, the design team rapidly developed and iterated on Figma concepts and prototypes for tools identified as valuable. This included sophisticated solutions for onboarding accounts, scanning sessions, events, identities, privileges, behaviors, and accesses to diagnose vulnerabilities, assess threats, rate them by severity, and provide actionable insights. These prototypes played a pivotal role not just in conveying the vision to investors but also in obtaining additional feedback from users. In parallel, backend engineers concentrated on developing robust code for these essential product features, while the frontend team focused on creating a design component library and building an MVP.



Permiso's Design System, inspired by Material Design, unifies aesthetics and functionality across all touchpoints, integrating color, typography, and icons for visual coherence. Prioritizing accessibility and responsiveness, it ensures adaptability across devices and user needs. Additionally, it streamlines ideation and prototyping while supporting development and deployment for diverse stakeholders, fostering rapid iteration and consistency.


The strategy of employing quirky illustrations and characters aimed to move away from the conventional, complex visual language typical in the cybersecurity sector. By leveraging humor and engaging visuals, the approach aimed to simplify cloud security concepts for a wider audience, marking a departure from the industry's standard. This innovative method enhanced content accessibility and uniquely positioned Permiso, challenging the prevalent perception of tech companies as mundane and lacking creativity.



Building on the Design System's foundations and illustrations, the website's screens were crafted to showcase Permiso's offerings, highlighting its products, features, and security benefits over competitors. It serves as a hub for resources like case studies, whitepapers, and blog posts, keeping users updated on cloud cybersecurity trends and innovations.


Brand Identity

The selection of a fortress symbol for the brand reflects the core values of security, protection, and solidity, aligning with the company's goal of offering cloud security solutions. By integrating the brand identity and design system, a wide range of visual elements were crafted for use across digital and physical platforms, thereby strengthening the company's visual identity and enhancing its communication strategy.


Social Media
& Marketing

Additionally, several visual elements were designed for use in brand-related social profiles and posts that embody the tone and message of the company. These images directly target the audience, enhancing the brand's online presence.


The Outcome

Through its strategic and innovative approach to cloud security, Permiso has established a strong presence in the Silicon Valley startup ecosystem securing a $10 million seed round led by Point72 Ventures and including Foundation Capital, Work-Bench, 11.2 Capital and Rain Capital. It was also backed by a number of security industry leaders, including Jason Chan, former VP of Information Security at Netflix; Travis McPeak, head of Product Security at Databricks; and Tyler Shields, CMO at JupiterOne.

Since emerging Permiso has seen strong growth and counts among its customers Autodesk Inc., Nutanix Inc., Coupa Software Inc., ACV Auctions Inc. and Modern Health Inc. The company assisted multiple casino groups in defending their systems following attacks on MGM Resorts International Inc. and Ceasars Entertainment Inc.

On 2024, Altimeter Capital Management LP led the $18.5M Series A round, with Point72 Ventures LLC also participating.


Thanks to

Jason Martin, Paul Nguyen, Phani Modali, Stephen Demjanenko, Amol Dharmadhikari, Wei Quan, Charan Theja, Jeff Levin, Bhargav Garimella, Dylan Berg

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