​Why Apache Kafka firm Confluent thinks IoT and streaming will gain from $24m injection

New stream-management features for Apache Kafka are among product development efforts to be funded by a fresh investment round for startup Confluent.

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Confluent says a multimillion-dollar funding injection announced today will help finance the development of new features for the popular Apache Kafka real-time data-stream management system.

The $24m series B funding round, led by Index Ventures with existing investor Benchmark Capital, follows a $6.9m investment announced last November when the ex-LinkedIn creators of Kafka unveiled the Mountain View, California-based company.

From its roots at LinkedIn, the Kafka distributed publish-subscribe messaging system went open source in early 2011 and graduated from the Apache Incubator in October 2012.

According to Confluent, Kafka is now being used by thousands of companies, including Cisco, Goldman Sachs, Netflix, and Uber, to manage streams of data from websites, applications, and sensors.

"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 firm said in a statement.

The Confluent Platform consists of a set of data infrastructure products designed to add advanced features to Kafka, along with enterprise support and services, to make a company's data available as real-time streams.

Confluent said it is also building new stream-processing features that will allow users to perform on real-time data streams the same analytical operations that they currently conduct with standard databases on more static or slow-moving data.

Confluent said Kafka, which is written in Scala, allows developers to build a central data pipeline for microservices or enterprise data integration.

This pipeline can be a high-capacity ingestion route for Apache Hadoop or traditional data warehouses, or can act as a foundation for advanced stream processing using Apache Spark, Storm, or Samza.

Confluent also announced that Index Ventures partner Mike Volpi is joining its board, which already includes Benchmark Capital partner Eric Vishria, who joined last November.

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