Cribl raises $150 million in order to compete with alternative observability tools

Observability in software development is being able to maintain tabs on all of an app’s moving parts, including the backend infrastructure and the mobile and web clients. It’s hardly surprise that solutions for improving system observability are in high demand, given how important it may be for engineers and the whole business. 90% of firms currently feel observability is vital to their company performance and 76% anticipate their observability expenditures in 2021 to rise, according to a new New Relic poll.

Dritan Bitincka and Ledion Bitincka, who worked with Clint Sharp at Splunk, predicted the expansion of the observability tool industry when they dealt with transporting data between various IT systems without a single point of control. After leaving Splunk in 2017, Sharp and the two Bitinckas created the Cribl platform, which Sharp characterises as an observability pipeline: A system that can analyse and enhance logs and metrics, then route them to the correct destination.

CRV, IVP, Redpoint Ventures, Sequoia, and Greylock Partners all participated in Cribl’s $150 million Series D fundraising round, demonstrating the market’s resilience amid headwinds. This round of funding may be lower than Cribl’s Series C, but a source estimates that the firm is still worth $2.5 billion once the money has been invested. When it comes to August 2021, that figure is up from $1.5 billion.

This has only grown more critical during the epidemic, Sharp said. “Data and analytics have become indispensable from both an IT and a business standpoint because of distributed work, more sophisticated security attackers, and increased consumer expectations. If you want to respond fast and decisively, we can help you get high-quality data to and from whichever tools you’re using.”

Cribl‘s fresh funding will help the company evolve from a few-tool provider to an observability “suite,” Sharp said. Observability, a growing sector expected to be worth $10 billion by 2024, is prompting this move, according to one organisation. In addition to the well-funded Chronosphere and Observe, Cribl’s roster of rivals includes Edge Delta and Monte Carlo.

There are a lot of firms out there trying to get into the observability market, from legacy enterprise IT organisations to brand-new startups, but what we hear from our clients is that we are the only one delivering a fully vendor-neutral, agnostic enterprise software solution,” Sharp said. For this reason, we have designed Cribl to be open and interoperable by design, since we know that organisations employ a variety of tools for a variety of purposes.”

Cribl today announced Cribl Search, which the company says is the first “open” analytics tool to do search-in-place queries, in line with this declared objective. Cribl Search was developed by Zero2One (C021), Cribl’s newly founded R&D lab, and claims to be able to query telemetry data in any format and at any location without needing central storage for analysis.

Customer sign-ups for Cribl Search’s private beta begin on May 24. Cribl Search can run searches on data at the edge, in flight (that is actively moving from one point to another), in a central repository, or inside current tools such as Splunk or Elasticsearch. Cribl Edge is an observability agent that gathers, analyses, and distributes data to destinations in real time, according to Sharp.

“We’re looking to drive the future and vision of the observability category, which is why we recently formed C021, an internal organization headed by Dritan Bitincka and Ledion Bitincka focused on early-stage new product development,” Sharp said. “By expanding our portfolio with both Cribl Edge and now Cribl Search, we are shifting from the leading observability pipeline company into a full observability suite.”

Despite the lack of new revenue-generating services, Cribl has been able to hold its own against its competitors, according to Sharp. In fiscal year 2021, ARR climbed by 300 percent, and it is on course to exceed that level in fiscal year 2022, he added. However, he did not provide any information on annual recurring revenue (ARR). More than 10 Fortune 50 firms, including New Balance, Shutterfly, and Autodesk, joined Cribl’s client list in 2021, as did government agencies.

“We’re in the strongest financial position in our history,” Sharp said. “The greatest challenge enterprises face is a deluge of observability data for both IT and security teams, and most lack the infrastructure to handle it and the ability to manage data collection at scale … As a result, businesses are struggling with the cost of observability and security data, many spending millions a year, some into the tens of millions a year, to store their metrics, logs, and traces. Cribl helps organizations regain control over data volume and data gravity by allowing customers to interact with that data where it has the most value to them, without requiring them to ingest or move the data.”

Cribl has its job cut out for it if it wants to keep that momentum going. In a recent study by cloud optimization firm Yotascale, roughly a quarter of organisations stated they were contemplating making changes to their observability procedures as infrastructure prices increase. Many firms are unable to attain “real” observability, while making large expenditures in tools (between $100,000 and $300,000 per year, on average), according to a 2021 poll by LogDNA.

According to a Gartner Hype Cycle published at the end of last year, the market for observability solutions is “cloudy with a high probability of disruption” and at the “peak of exaggerated expectations.”

With this new round of funding, Cribl has received a total of $400 million. This business is now home to 350 individuals, but by the end of 2022, they want to have over 500 employees.