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Confluent Secures $125M Round

January 25, 2019

Confluent has closed a $125 million Series D round led by Sequoia Capital, bringing Confluent’s total funding to $206 million. Existing investors Index Ventures and Benchmark also participated in this round. The Series D raise caps a banner year for Confluent, with 3.5X subscription bookings growth year over year.

“Confluent is the fastest growing enterprise subscription company by revenue since launch that we have partnered with to date,” said Matt Miller, Partner at Sequoia and Confluent board member. “The enterprise market has awoken to the competitive advantage real-time event streaming can provide. Companies are rushing to gain access to this benefit and Confluent and its offerings are becoming the core critical event streaming platform for some of the largest companies in the world.”

In the digital age, events are everywhere. Companies have moved to a more dynamic technology and services-based business model, which means transactions have become event-driven, real-time and complex. For example, ordering a taxi used to encompass a phone call and a transaction at the end of a trip with cash as the typical form of payment. Today, ordering a car via an application entails real-time data about car location, estimated traffic times, ongoing tracking of a live trip, serving up driver and user specifics in terms of reputation and contact details, real-time communication capabilities, and the ability to pay and tip a driver via a payments infrastructure, among many other things. The same is true about every digital action – managing bank balances, booking a flight, taking inventory and connecting distributed IoT applications – they all trigger events.

Until now, organizations have been trained to think of data the wrong way. Extensive research and innovation went into making databases fast, scalable and reliable, which enabled companies to store and start to make use of ever-growing datasets. However, analyzing this static data meant batch processing after events occurred, and companies were quickly falling behind. Messaging, ETL (extract, transfer, load) and data integration technologies rose to fill the gap between batch processing and real time, but predated the architecture standards of modern distributed systems. In order to stay competitive and meet customer expectations, businesses today need the full picture of historical data as well as visibility into events taking place in real time. Event streaming solves this fundamental business problem and changes this paradigm to see data as a continually updating stream of events, enabling organizations to build an entirely new category of event-driven applications, as well as an universal event pipeline. This architecture is central to every company’s path to be competitive in the modern world.

Founded by the original creators of Apache Kafka®, Confluent helps organizations thrive in this new world and run their businesses in real time. With Confluent, organizations benefit from the first event streaming platform built for the enterprise with the ease-of-use, scalability, security and flexibility required by the most discerning global companies. Companies leading their respective industries have realized success with this new paradigm to transform their architectures to streaming from batch processing, spanning on-premises and multi-cloud environments.

“Industry-leading companies are re-architecting their businesses around real-time events,” said Jay Kreps, co-founder and CEO at Confluent. “With Confluent, companies can connect all of their applications and data sources, enabling them to react and engage their customers in a faster, more personalized and more efficient manner. We think event streaming has the opportunity to become as big a category in infrastructure technology as databases, and we’re excited to be creating that future.”

“Data and the business insights that it generates have transformed every aspect of our economy,” said Mike Volpi, partner at Index Ventures. “As a consequence, data streaming platforms as a category is emerging as one of the most fundamental technology shifts ever. As the industry leader, Confluent is best positioned to drive this change, and shape how companies think, use and operationalize data.”

“Data is the DNA of our business and gives us the ability to evolve as a company. For example, our autonomous cars process 4 terabytes per day per car. But it’s not just the data, we need to know what events took place to make decisions,” said Stefan Bauer, Head of Development Data Analytics, AUDI Electronics Venture at AUDI. “We utilized a streaming platform to build various applications including a fast data IoT platform, real-time data analysis, swarm intelligence and predictive AI, and we know that Confluent Platform and Apache Kafka will continue to help us scale as we’re on our mission to be completely data driven.”

“Customers rely on us to provide on-demand content as well as entertainment and sports channels, it’s critical we deliver a real-time experience,” said Jérôme Tassel, Director, Services Engineering for BT TV & BB. “We chose Confluent and Apache Kafka to power our most demanding real-time services, so from when we initiate service and viewing to billing, it all happens in real time.”

Confluent Business and Customer Success Momentum

  • Grew total subscription bookings in 2018 by 3.5X year over year.
  • Grew employee base by 128 percent and expanded global footprint into eleven countries. 
  • Broadened executive leadership team and hired Giancarlo Lionetti, former vice president of growth at Dropbox, as chief marketing officer; and Michael Bourque, former head of people at Quotient Technology, as vice president of people.
  • Welcomed the Distributed Masonry team, the innovators behind Onyx Platform and Pyrostore to extend the cloud-native storage and processing capabilities of Confluent Cloud.
  • Partnered with Google Cloud to deliver a platform for mission-critical use cases, including event-driven applications, machine learning for advanced analytics and hybrid cloud data pipelines.
  • Designated Microsoft as a co-sell partner and launched support for Azure Stack to enable hybrid data streaming with Confluent Platform and Kafka.
  • Enterprises around the world, including AUDI, Capital One, JPMorgan Chase, Nordea Bank, BT TV, Priceline.com and many more implemented Confluent or expanded their existing deployments to accelerate success with event streaming.

Product Innovation Momentum

  • Released Confluent Platform 5.0, which introduced significant new capabilities, from making infrastructure more secure, reliable and easier to manage, to enabling more powerful applications with streaming data.
  • Made KSQL generally available and released the Stream Processing Cookbook, which features KSQL recipes to solve specific, domain-focused problems using KSQL.
  • Introduced Confluent Cloud Professional, the self-service version of Confluent Cloud.
  • Launched Confluent Hub, an online service for finding, reviewing and downloading extensions for the Apache Kafka and Confluent Platform ecosystems.
  • Opened the Confluent Certification Program so developers can demonstrate and validate their in-depth knowledge of Apache Kafka.

Apache Kafka Community Highlights

  • Sponsored the third annual Kafka Summit in San Francisco and the first-ever international Kafka Summit in London with more than 1,750 attendees and 40 sponsors across both events. Kafka Summit 2019 expects over 4,000 attendees across three growing events in New York, London and San Francisco.
  • Worked with the community to make Apache Kafka one of the most dynamic open source projects with more than 34,000 meetup members across 139 global meetup groups, over 1,200 individual code commits and 103 completed Kafka Improvement Proposals in 2018.

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