Observability provider Cribl expanding Go-to-Market, channel presence, with $200 million C funding round

Cribl, which makes it easier for companies to move their data around multiple tools, is planning an aggressive Go-to-Market expansion, which includes a channel that has been there from the beginning.

Clint Sharp, Cribl’s CEO

Today, San Francisco-based observability pipeline provider Cribl is announcing that it raised $200 million in a  new Series C funding round, bringing their total funding to $254 million. The round was led by Greylock and Redpoint Ventures, and was joined by new investor IVP and existing investors Sequoia and CRV. It also had strategic investment from Citi Ventures and Crowdstrike.

Cribl was founded in 2017, with all three co-founders coming from Splunk.

“We all had a very deep background in logs, machine data metrics, and observability, and we left Splunk in 2017,” said Clint Sharp, Cribl’s CEO, and one of the co-founders. “We discovered with this new project that people had massively greater volumes of data than they could process with their current architecture. It was not a solved problem. They wanted to take data that was going to SIEMs and login tools and get it into multiple places and create more affordable and greater capability systems.”

Cribl shipped the first version of their product in October 2018, and made their first sale in January 2019. Their flagship product, LogStream, is completely vendor-agnostic, and parses and routes any type of event data that flows through corporate IT systems.

“We approach this from an anti-lock in perspective,” Sharp said. “When you put data into another vendor’s tool, it normally becomes that vendor’s data. But customers today want a lot of tools. Our observability pipeline gets data to multiple places, and we connect things that weren’t intended to be connected.

“There is usually a second place they want that data to go and often a cost control element,” Sharp added. “There is a fundamental tension around data growth at 25% a year, which is well in advance of budget. We help them get more of the right stuff in tools like Splunk. Elastica and DataDog. We are ideally suited to a ‘land and expand’ strategy, expanding from where we originally came in with other destinations, and growing inside the accounts.”

Cribl very much represents a best of breed strategy.

“A lot of vendors are coming to our customers pitching a single pane of glass vision, but the enterprise really wants to buy best of breed,” Sharp said. “I know a lot of vendors are pitching that now, but I’m not seeing it at customers. They still tend to acquire an observability solution, a metrics solution and a log solution, and generally don’t buy it all from one vendor. We can help them deal with that.”

Cribl serves a fairly broad range of the market.

“We do get a lot of Fortune 500 customers, but that’s not our entire market,” Sharp said. “While we sell to a lot of enterprises, we also have some upper midmarket customers as well. We have a full self-service free product, and a lot of leads come in that way, as we sell to NOC and SOC people who have responsibility  for observability.”

The channel has been part of Cribl’s Go-to-Market motion from the start.

“We have been channel-first from the beginning,” Sharp said. “I come from an IT ops and buying background and used to get a ton of value out of reseller partners. The channel was people most likely to know who the people we sell to are and have contacts with them. It has taken some time to build up the channel, however. We are very strong on the regional side and have done a few deals with the bigger nationals. We have a lot of presence with security resellers, who are hearing about us from their customers now. We also just hired a new VP of channels.”

Cribl has done some deals in Canada, through smaller boutique partners.

Sharp outlined where the new funding will be put to use.

“We are very deliberate about our fundraising process, and we figure out exactly what we need,” he said. “We have very aggressive go to market plans in North America and in Europe. We have 25 quota carriers today, and will double that before the end of the year, along with adding sales engineers, operations staff, and channel support engineers.

“We just launched a cloud service and have new products in the works, and we are investing significantly in demand generation as well,” Sharp added.