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Created at LinkedIn by Confluent Founders, Kafka Delivers Data from Across an Organization in Real Time to Power Internet of Things and Sensor-Based Applications
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.–July 8, 2015–Confluent, founded by the creators of Apache™ Kafka®, today announced it has closed $24 million Series B funding led by Index Ventures, with participation from existing investor Benchmark, bringing the total funding raised to date to $31 million. This new investment will accelerate the development and enterprise adoption of the Confluent Platform, built around Apache Kafka, and underscores the growing importance of real-time data in the modern enterprise. The founders of Confluent created Apache Kafka while at LinkedIn to help cope with the very large-scale data ingestion and processing requirements of the business networking service.
Index Ventures and Benchmark have a history of investing in strong open source companies including Hortonworks and Elastic. Mike Volpi, partner at Index Ventures, has joined Confluent’s board of directors, which also includes Eric Vishria, general partner at Benchmark, and Confluent co-founders Jay Kreps and Neha Narkhede.
Apache Kafka is the wildly popular open source system for managing real-time streams of data from websites, applications and sensors that is now being used as fundamental infrastructure by thousands of companies, ranging from LinkedIn, Netflix and Uber, to Cisco and Goldman Sachs. Supporting the transfer of trillions of messages per day in production deployments, Kafka is becoming a standard requirement of the modern data management architecture. It allows developers to build a centralized data pipeline enabling microservices or enterprise data integration, such as high-capacity ingestion routes for Apache Hadoop or traditional data warehouses, or as a foundation for advanced stream processing using Apache Spark, Storm or Samza.
Given the rapid expansion of mobile devices and applications, a growing deluge of Web application data, and the emerging Internet of Things (IoT), more and more data is taking the form of real-time streams. Traditional databases and file systems are ill-equipped to handle stream data, so a new class of data management infrastructure is needed to handle this imminent, critical need. Organizations are struggling with the technical difficulties of the transition towards distributed platforms in general and real-time processing in particular. Confluent was founded in September 2014 to help enterprises overcome these challenges.
Confluent will use the Series B funding to continue investing aggressively in product development, adding new stream data management features to Kafka and the other elements of the Confluent Platform. The company is also building new stream processing capabilities that will enable analytical operations on real-time data streams, much like those available on standard databases today, for more static, slow-moving data.
“Because Kafka was born in the modern big data environment, it is designed to simplify the management of massive real-time data streams,” says Mike Volpi, partner at Index Ventures. “Confluent’s platform can also support hundreds of applications built by disparate teams and is scalable, reliable enough to handle critical updates, and features a stream-processing framework that integrates easily and makes data available for real-time processing. Co-founders Jay, Neha and Jun Rao have created a highly intelligent product and we are excited to support their continued growth.”
“Kafka has been a labor of love and it’s been thrilling to see the technology mature and advance. We began working together on Kafka and stream processing in 2010, and now Kafka processes 867 billion messages a day at LinkedIn,” said Jay Kreps, co-founder and CEO of Confluent. “Today thousands of organizations are using Kafka and we expect in the years to come this will become a core platform within virtually every major company. Companies from all sectors are looking to evolve their data architecture to enable real-time stream data processing, and with the funding, we’ll be able to accelerate the development of the Confluent Platform to help companies best leverage the power of Apache Kafka.”
Kafka’s durable and scalable storage makes it an ideal centralized service for all the data in an organization. TheConfluent Platform builds on this capability, adding advanced features for Kafka, as well as enterprise supportand services. Together these capabilities help get all data from various disparate systems flowing through Kafka—making the data easily accessible to any application. Kafka is low-latency enough to satisfy real-time stream processing needs, scalable enough to handle very high volume log and event data and fault-tolerant enough for critical data delivery.
“Apache Kafka was born at LinkedIn and we continue to invest heavily in advancing the software on our own and by working with the Kafka community, including Confluent,” said Kevin Scott, senior vice president of engineering and operations at LinkedIn. “Kafka allows us to utilize our data in real-time to make our products better for LinkedIn’s members. We are excited to work with the Confluent team as they build products to allow more companies to adopt real-time data processing.”
“Since day one, I’ve been impressed with the Confluent team and their vision to enable the real-time enterprise,” said Eric Vishria, general partner at Benchmark. “Apache Kafka provides an elegant and reliable solution to the complex problem of data movement and analysis, and Confluent will be making this pipeline a reality for enterprises.”
Apache Kafka, an open source technology created and maintained by the founders of Confluent, acts as a real-time, fault tolerant, highly scalable messaging system. It is widely adopted for use cases ranging from collecting user activity data, logs, application metrics, stock ticker data and device instrumentation. Its key strength is its ability to make high volume data available as a real-time stream for consumption in systems with very different requirements—from batch systems like Hadoop, to real-time systems that require low-latency access, to stream processing engines that transform the data streams as they arrive. This infrastructure lets you build around a single central nervous system transmitting messages to all the different systems and applications within an company.
Benchmark invests in and works alongside entrepreneurs building startups into transformational companies. We focus on early-stage venture investing in mobile, marketplaces, social, and infrastructure and enterprise software. Benchmark’s $425 million fund is comprised of five equal general partners who take board seats and a hands-on approach to every entrepreneur and company we back, with no junior investment staff. Benchmark’s current portfolio of early-stage venture investments includes private market leaders such as Uber, Snapchat, Tinder, Stitch Fix, Elastic and Cyanogen; recent IPOs and acquisitions such as Twitter, Instagram, Yelp, League of Legends, OpenTable, New Relic, Hortonworks, GrubHub, Zendesk and Zillow; and franchise companies from Juniper to eBay to Red Hat. In the past four years 14 of Benchmark’s companies have gone public and 24 have been acquired, representing a cumulative market value of approximately $100 billion. Benchmark’s offices are in San Francisco and Woodside.
Index Ventures is a multi-stage venture capital firm founded to support the best and most ambitious entrepreneurs, wherever they are. With a global network and headquarters in London and San Francisco, we’ve teamed up with founders in 39 cities, across 24 countries, who are building the world’s next great companies. They include Dropbox, Etsy, Sonos, SoundCloud, Flipboard, King, BlaBlaCar, Squarespace, Lookout, Hortonworks, Pure Storage, Supercell, Funding Circle and many others.
Confluent, founded by the creators of Apache™ Kafka®, enables organizations to harness business value of live data. The Confluent Platform manages the barrage of stream data and makes it available throughout an organization. It provides various industries, from retail, logistics and manufacturing, to financial services and online social networking, a scalable, unified, real-time data pipeline that enables applications ranging from large volume data integration to big data analysis with Hadoop to real-time stream processing. Backed by Benchmark, Data Collective, Index Ventures and LinkedIn, Confluent is based in Mountain View. To learn more, please visitwww.confluent.io.
Jill Reed or Yotam Levy
Highwire PR for Confluent
(415) 963-4174, ext. 5