Two of Hunters’ new investors are also strategic partners, joining existing strategic partners Snowflake and Okta, while they plan to intensify both their buildup and support of channel partners this year, including more partners in Canada, and building a channel program.
Hunters, a 2019 startup which makes a SOC platform that lets security teams automatically identify and respond to important incidents across the entire attack surface, has announced their $68 million Series C round, bringing the total investment in Hunters to $118 million. The new round is led by growth equity firm Stripes, with participation from existing investors YL Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Microsoft’s venture fund M12, U.S. Venture Partners, Blumberg Capital and Snowflake Ventures. New investors in this round are DTCP, Cisco Investments and Databricks.
The addition of new strategic partners with roles that expand beyond just providing funding, and the addition of new strategic partners, is a key part of this release.
“We have a few new strategic partners this round,” said Lital Asher-Dotan, Hunters’ CMO. “Snowflake is doubling down. Cisco and Databricks are joining them. We are also aligning our Go-To-Market strategies with some strategic partners who have the same approach to Go-to-Market.”
Snowflake has been a strategic partner since 2020.
“With Snowflake, it has been a rich Go-to-Market and that will continue as we move forward,” said Chris Sullivan, Head of Worldwide Alliances and Channels at Hunters. “We have built a Go-to-Market with their sales team. Their sellers work with our sellers on joint opportunities.
“The Okta partnership has been more about bringing us credibility and rich marketing events,” Sullivan added. “Okta gave us credibility. They had considerable tech input into our platform, although we haven’t had deep Go-to-Market with them. With Cisco and Databricks, these are new and we will see where these take us. At a minimum, it gives us credibility in those spaces.”
Hunters is somewhat unusual in the security space today, in that the main purpose of their platform is not to play nice with others, but to displace incumbents, in this case, SIEMs.
“Many times, we are asked to coexist in those environments, so we do have a play for that,” Sullivan said. “We also have a play to rip and replace. Getting customers off Splunk is a longer term play, because there is reliance on those kind of tools. We focus on making SOC personnel’s lives easier, winning us fans who are trying to get new technology into their companies.”
Sullivan said that growing the channel will be a priority in the new funding round. Sullivan joined the company at the beginning of 2021 to build out Hunters’ channel strategy, and they signed up a few partners, including Canada’s Benchmark. Since that time, his internal team has grown and that growth will continue this year.
“We have a couple large initiatives planned around our channel,” he said. “We are starting to grow my team and establish a dedicated presence here in North America, and in EMEA. A year ago, it was just me. Now we have five or six people helping me. We are building more tools for partners, adding additional partners, and adding internal people who are industry veterans with great experience.”
Today, Hunters has a dozen partners, and Sullivan sad that revenue is growing.
“We were still in early mode for most of 2021,” he said. “We have a dozen partners now, and that is growing. We think the channel will be a big revenue mover in 2022 and beyond. It wasn’t as big a priority last year.”
Canada is slated for further expansion.
“We are pushing into that market, and looking to have a couple customers by the first half,” Sullivan indicated. “We are looking to sign a specific partner with deep interest in financials, and a service provider is also very interested.”
Finally, Sullivan said major program and platform developments for partners are on the way.
“We are committed to building a channel program, and you will see something by mid-year on that,” he stated. “We have a commitment to collaborate and build real channel partnerships here in 2022. Expect to see some innovation in our technology to support things in the channel, and to see both packaged marketing plays and enhancements to the platform by late 2022 or early 2023.”