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April 21, 2020

Confluent Uses Deep Pockets to Extend Kafka

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Enterprise adoption of event streaming frameworks is paying off for the founders of Apache Kafka, the popular stream processing platform that is poised for an upgrade.

Confluent Inc., the company launched by Kafka founders, announced a hefty $250 million funding round on Tuesday (April 21) along with a new project touted as the “next act” for real-time data streaming. The Series E round that included new investors Altimeter Capital and Franklin Templeton lifts Confluent’s total funding to $456 million. The company claims a market valuation of $4.5 billion.

Kafka-based event-streaming platforms have expanded data access to applications and their users. Confluent said the next challenge is building and scaling “event-driven” applications across datacenters, multiple clouds and microservices.

“Event streaming has set the new standard for how data can be leveraged across an organization as a continuous stream of real-time events,” Jay Kreps, Confluent’s CEO and co-founder, said in announcing the funding round.

The company also announced the launch of Project Metamorphosis, a next-generation event streaming platform hosted on Confluent’s cloud. A series of monthly product and feature releases beginning in May and extending over eight months will flesh out the upgraded real-time streaming platform, Confluent said.

The new capabilities will be “organized around the core tenets we think should be mandatory for cloud infrastructure,” Kreps added in a blog post. “Taken together we believe these will set the bar for this emerging space and lay the foundation for what we plan to do over our next five years.”

Project Metamorphosis is being launched as Confluent ramps up its ksql database built atop Kafka and positioned as the future of stream processing. Other initiatives include collecting data streams from connected Internet of Things devices. Confluent said it is currently managing more than 4,500 Kafka clusters on its cloud platform.

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