Security Startup Snyk Debuts Partner Program To Win Larger Customers

Snyk has historically landed developers as customers by word-of-mouth, says CEO Peter McKay, but massive growth in the developer community meant the company now needs support from the channel.

Fast-growing open-source security startup Synk has rolled out its first partner program to better support enterprise organizations with large numbers of developers.

The London-based vendor is looking to grow its engagement by providing internal resources and discounts to channel partners who are focused on speeding up the application development life cycle in a secure manner, according to CEO Peter McKay.

“It’s not that difficult for channel partners who are already doing a fair amount of security work together to add us in as a component,” McKay told CRN.

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[Related: Red-Hot Security AppDev Startup Snyk Raises $150M]

Snyk is in the process of signing 35 channel partners in North America, McKay said, and plans to partner most closely with Optiv, GuidePoint and Trace3 in the region due to their expertise in security and digital transformation. The program will have two tiers—Access and Premier—with greater discounting and resources available to Premier partners, according to McKay.

The company was founded in 2015, employs 274 people, and has raised $252 million in five rounds of outside funding, including a $150 million Series C round led by Stripes that closed last month, according to LinkedIn and Crunchbase. Snyk has increased its sales head count by nearly 280 percent and its engineering head count by nearly 120 percent over the past year, according to LinkedIn.

The company has historically landed developers as customers by word-of-mouth, McKay said, but a massive increase in the number of applications being developed, pace of development, and sheer number of developers employed means that Snyk now needs to take a different approach.

Specifically, McKay said businesses are now buying licenses for thousands or tens of thousands of developers rather than hundreds of developers. As a result, Snyk began working last year to formalize its channel approach to better support large enterprises and midmarket organizations that are devoting more of their budget to security, compliance and DevOps, according to McKay.

Snyk has been working hard in recent months to get the right resources in place to recruit, enable and ramp up its relationships with channel partners on a long-term basis, according to McKay. The company has incentivized its internal teams to work with channel partners, and build up a lot of momentum and sales pipeline with channel partners, he said.

Later this spring, the company said it plans to introduce partner certification programs to help verify sales and engineering expertise around Snyk. A dedicated partner portal will provide sales and marketing tools, training and enablement, and access to continuous support from the Snyk channel team, the company said.

Some 7 percent of Snyk’s 2019 revenue came from the channel, and the company expects its new partner program will help grow the channel’s share of the pie to 20 percent in 2020. From there, McKay said Snyk hopes to again double the share of its business flowing through the channel in 2021 and 2022 so that solution providers are delivering the vast majority of business in three years’ time.

From a geographic standpoint, McKay said North America is Snyk’s primary market today, with the company doing between 25 percent and 30 percent of its business in Europe. Snyk is looking to add global and region-specific partners in those geographies, and then start investing in building a presence in Asia-Pacific midway through 2020, according to McKay.

“As a Snyk channel partner, Trace3 is strengthening our existing application security and DevSecOps practices,” DevSecOps Director Jimmy Xu said in a statement. “By partnering with Snyk, we are helping our clients uncover the benefits of dev-first security so they can keep up with the fast-paced DevOps processes that are driving today’s economy.”