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Data Observability Tech Developer Cribl Scores $200M In Funding

The Series C round of financing will be used to expand the company’s product line beyond its core software and accelerate channel sales and global expansion.

Cribl, a developer of data observability pipeline technology, has raised $200 million in Series C funding, the company said Wednesday.

The San Francisco-based startup plans to use the additional financing to expand its go-to-market efforts – including its channel operations – and expanding its product portfolio. The funding round brings Cribl’s total financing to $254 million.

Greylock and Redpoint Ventures led the round, joined by new investor IVP and existing investors Sequoia and CRV, and included strategic investments from Citi Ventures and cybersecurity tech developer CrowdStrike.

[Related: 10 Cool Tech Companies That Raised Funding In July 2021 ]

Cribl’s observability data engineering software, including its flagship LogStream system, is used to build pipelines for moving high volumes of machine log, instrumentation, application and metric data between operational, storage, analytical and security systems.

The Cribl observability pipeline software works by sitting between applications, including Splunk, Kafka, Exabeam, Amazon Kinesis and Datadog, that use agents to collect data.

“We’re helping connect these tools that weren’t intended to be connected and help people deal with that massive influx of data,” said Clint Sharp, Cribl CEO and co-founder, in an interview with CRN. He noted that such tools are often implemented for specific tasks and only later do businesses and organizations try to connect them to a wider array of systems for additional use cases.

That’s where Cribl comes into play. The software is designed to help IT operations management teams and system managers that oversee applications, cybersecurity, data processing and other areas deal with the exploding volume of machine-generated data. Cribl “allows you to process the data, enrich the data, reshape it, filter out unused and unwanted information, and then send it along to multiple destinations,” said Sharp.

(The company’s name comes from “kribel,” the instrument with a meshed or perforated bottom generally used when panning for gold – straining valuable material from discardable matter – the company says.)

“Not since my time at AppDynamics have I seen a company taking such an innovative approach to solving a real customer problem,” said Greylock partner David Wadhwani in a statement. “Cribl is enabling customers to realize their long-term observability strategies by addressing the single biggest pain point: Getting control of the massive surface of data.”

Unlike most startups, which traditionally focus on direct sales for their early years, Cribl has worked with the channel since its 2017 launch and counts such strategic service providers as Trace3 and Insight as partners. The company’s partner stable includes numerous VARs that provide IT/cloud infrastructure and cybersecurity solutions as well as solution providers that work with leading vendors like Splunk.

“From the beginning we’ve built a channel-first company,” said Matt Bauer, Cribl vice president of sales and customer success, in the interview. While the company does have direct sales, Bauer said the majority of Cribl’s revenue is through the channel. “It’s part of our culture on a day-to-day basis,” Bauer said.

The company’s enterprise customers include Autodesk, Shutterfly, Whole Foods and Vodaphone.

Bauer said Cribl’s partners play a critical role for the vendor in that the company’s technology is “vendor agnostic” – able to connect to many source and target systems – and so is especially valuable for service providers that integrate systems from multiple vendors.

Sharp said Cribl will apply the new financing toward expanding its channel organization and operations, increase marketing and advertising efforts, and accelerate product development of the core technology and new products that complement LogStream.

The CEO said the latter is a priority because as Cribl expands to more customers, it’s discovering new potential use cases for its observability pipeline software.

“You’re going to see us talking a lot about how people need to manage petabytes of data at scale and really figure out how to deal with this tide of data growth,” Sharp said. “We’re going to have two-and-a-half times more data in five years than we have today and, fundamentally, that’s the problem – and the mission – we’re going after.”


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