Adlumin Raises $70M To Expand MDR To ‘Under-Resourced’ Customers

The company will use the Series B funding round to bring its security operations platform to the midmarket and SMB with the help of channel partners, CEO Robert Johnston tells CRN exclusively.


Adlumin CEO Robert Johnston

Adlumin has landed $70 million in new funding as it seeks to deliver its consolidated security operations platform more widely within underserved segments of the market including SMBs, according to Adlumin co-founder and CEO Robert Johnston.

The venture-backed company exclusively told CRN that it has raised the Series B funding to accelerate its expansion in the midmarket and SMB with the help of channel partners.

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The Adlumin platform stands out by combining a number of capabilities that are often treated by vendors as separate offerings, including managed detection and response (MDR) and security information and event management (SIEM), Johnston said.

Adlumin has “consolidated SIEM and MDR into one streamlined platform,” he said in an interview with CRN. Rather than using separate offerings or vendors that don’t always sync up with each other, “those experiences live and breathe in one platform” with Adlumin, Johnston said.

The new funding was led by Syn Ventures and brings Adlumin to a total of $83 million raised since its founding in 2016. Other investors that took part in the Series B round included First In Ventures, Washington Harbour Partners and BankTech Ventures.

Johnston served as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, heading several cyber teams including the Cyber National Mission Force, before leading incident response teams at the National Security Agency. He entered the private sector by joining cybersecurity heavyweight CrowdStrike as a principal consultant in 2015.

The following year, Johnston gained prominence by leading CrowdStrike’s high-profile investigation into the Democratic National Committee breach by Russian intelligence. Later in 2016, Johnston founded Adlumin with another NSA alum, Timothy Evans, who is the company’s executive vice president.

An Underserved Market

During his previous work in incident response, Johnston recalled becoming aware of the lack of usable, effective security analytics tools below the enterprise level. And even in the midmarket, organizations are largely “under-resourced” when it comes to being able to hire staff with security expertise, he said.

Adlumin’s approach has been not only to provide an enterprise-caliber security operations platform for those markets, but also to provide a 24x7 managed option that makes sense for even the smallest organizations, Johnston said.

Adlumin is uniquely meeting the need for “an MDR product that is specifically focused on the smaller end of the spectrum where you’re not disqualifying customers right out of the gate for not having 5,000 employees,” said James Range, CEO of Dallas-based solution provider White Rock Cybersecurity, an Adlumin partner.

“This has been a great solution for small to midmarket companies,” Range said. The solution provider has also had “tremendous success” with bringing Adlumin to customers in the education segment, he said.

All in all, Adlumin has been resonating strongly by offering a “very robust, low-cost option that is built for the midmarket,” Range said.

Partner Growth Push

The new funding comes as Adlumin, which employs 150, has already been seeing rapid growth. The Washington, D.C.-based company has appeared on the Inc. 5000 list of fast-growing companies for the past three years, ranking at No. 438 on the 2023 list for generating a 1,320 percent increase in revenue over three years.

The aim now is for Adlumin, which already drives 100 percent of its sales through partners, to keep up the momentum by “making big investments in the channel,” Johnston said.

A major focus for the new funding will be on making “strategic bets” with key partners, “investing directly into our partners’ businesses,” he said. While there are numerous ways this might happen, the investments will usually entail specific objectives such as running call blitzes or doing a certain number of demos in a month, Johnston said.

In making these types of strategic investments in partners so far, “it’s been very effective for us,” he said. The investments are on top of MDF that Adlumin also provides to partners, he noted.

Adlumin’s partner base totals nearly 200 and includes both MSPs and MSSPs as well as VARs. The company is also recruiting more partners and adding roughly 10 new partners a month, Johnston said.

At White Rock Cybersecurity, Range said he’s found Adlumin to have a strong channel program overall and to be “aggressive” when it comes to offering incentives such as sales incentive rebates, or spiffs.

The vendor has also impressed White Rock by providing “full access to the Adlumin team” whenever needed, he said.

Improved Transparency

In terms of the Adlumin platform itself, one advantage compared with other MDR offerings is around the “transparency” it offers to customers, Range said.

“The customers have full access to all their data. They can see everything that’s going on. They can look, touch, do whatever they want. There’s no real limitations on what they can do or what they can see in their data,” he said.

That’s not something all customers will utilize, but for some organizations, “they can’t sleep at night if they don’t have visibility into their data,” Range said. “It’s just total peace of mind. We’re not keeping it in a black box and just telling you when we’ve done something.”

Offering this type of transparency has been a place where MDR has “historically struggled,” Johnston said. Too often with MDR, “there’s a sacrifice that the end customer is making in transparency and efficacy.”

By taking a more transparent approach, Adlumin enables improved security outcomes by boosting the collaboration with partners and customers, he said.

“Having the end customer and the partner be able to log in and look at an event like you would look at an event, or investigate an event like you would investigate an event, and let you know about things—that adds to the efficacy of the overall platform,” Johnston said.

Versatile Platform

In addition to SIEM, Adlumin’s security operations platform offers capabilities such as vulnerability scanning, threat intelligence and UEBA (user entity and behavior analytics) threat hunting. In August, Adlumin debuted an incident response service that is subscription-based and available to customers that either use the company’s SecOps platform directly or use its 24x7 MDR service.

In addition, unlike some MDR providers that require use of a certain endpoint detection and response (EDR) tool—or just support a few EDRs— Adlumin is “endpoint-agnostic,” Johnston said. The company’s MDR offering supports 25 EDR tools including CrowdStrike, SentinelOne, Sophos, ESET and Malwarebytes.

Ultimately, Adlumin’s versatility in terms of customer size is a major differentiator in a crowded MDR market, Johnston said. The company’s platform supports customers ranging from “10 employees to 10,000 employees,” he said, “and everything in between.”