Confluent, provider of the leading streaming platform based on Apache KafkaTM, today announced that it partnered with Sequoia and raised $50 million. Existing investors Benchmark and Index Ventures also participated in the round and Sequoia partner Matt Miller joined the Confluent board.
With total financing at $81 million, Confluent will use the new funds to further its vision of placing streaming platforms at the heart of every modern business. Streaming platforms are a result of a fundamental shift in how companies think about data - less as something stored to be processed after the fact, and more as something that flows and can be processed continuously - making data the heart of the business itself.
This funding comes on the heels of a banner year for Confluent with record results in 2016, including over 700 percent ACV (annual contract value) subscription bookings growth year over year, nearly tripling the number of employees, opening an EMEA headquarters in London, hiring a world-class leadership team, and adding many new customers including Priceline.com, Surescripts, TiVo and Zopa.
After a successful 2016, we’re excited to start 2017 with the investment led by Sequoia and with Matt Miller joining our board,” said Jay Kreps, co-founder and CEO at Confluent. “As we work with companies of all sizes deploying streaming platforms and using Apache Kafka, we’re committed to providing the best platform and solutions to use real time data across the multitude of use cases and believe Matt and Sequoia will be great additions to our team.
With Confluent Enterprise, the leading distribution of Apache Kafka, companies experience an out-of-the-box, production-ready streaming platform. It contains all of Kafka’s capabilities and enhances them with integrated, tested and packaged features that make architecting and managing large scale streaming environments easier to operate and more reliable.
“Data has become the currency of the modern business. Confluent's streaming platform makes that information easily accessible across public/private clouds, microservices and existing systems,” said Matt Miller, partner at Sequoia. “Some customers we spoke to attributed cost savings in the millions of dollars annually to the use of Confluent's platform. We are enthusiastic to partner as we believe Confluent has the opportunity to be one of the most impactful enterprise technology companies of the next decade.”
Confluent gives a competitive advantage to every industry that leverages data, including retail, healthcare, financial services, technology and media, among others. For instance, modern digital businesses stream new data in real time from sensors, websites, applications, suppliers, customers, computers, equipment and more. By processing this data in a real-time, distributed and scalable way, companies can make decisions that drastically improve brand loyalty and user experience, while lowering operating expenses and business risk.
Streaming platforms are already transforming industries such as:
- Retail banking: Enabling real-time services to customers and real-time intelligence across these services such as identifying fraud, while reducing operating costs and improving reliability
- Automotive: Building a massively-scaled network out of automotive fleets in order to offer real-time intelligence of road conditions, car conditions and geolocated services for automotive consumers
- Telecommunications: Identifying anomalies in large-scale computing systems, correlating customer behavior across multiple data sources, and integrating both in real time with financial systems, which leads to significant improvements in customer experiences and a drop in operating expenses due to reporting efficiencies
“The developer is now one of the most powerful decision makers in an organization because they select the core open source technologies that ultimately become the foundation of an entire enterprise,” said Eric Vishria, general partner at Benchmark. "When we first invested in Confluent their aim was to connect the creators of big data with the consumers of big data, and they have quickly grown to deliver this for some of the world's most renowned brands."
We’ve seen the adoption of streaming platforms and Apache Kafka skyrocket over the past few years. What makes the technology and Confluent special is that the team of experts created infrastructure that interconnects all systems within a company, like a freeway,” said Mike Volpi, partner at Index Ventures. “Today, if you need to go to your home or office, you use the freeway. You can change homes or offices, but you can’t move the freeway. It’s the same with data – you can change the endpoints, but ultimately, you need one road to manage and process the data. The Confluent team has built an amazing product and we’re looking forward to this next phase of growth.
Confluent, founded by the creators of open source Apache KafkaTM, provides the only streaming platform that enables enterprises to maximize the value of data. Confluent Enterprise empowers leaders in industries such as retail, logistics, manufacturing, financial services, technology and media, move data from isolated systems into a real-time data pipeline where they can act on it immediately. Backed by Benchmark, Data Collective, Index Ventures, LinkedIn and Sequoia, Confluent is based in Palo Alto, California. To learn more, please visit www.confluent.io. Download Apache Kafka and Confluent Open Source at www.confluent.io/download.
Published — March 7, 2017