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Infrastructure Software
Powered by Battery  |  December 9, 2021
Billion-Dollar B2B: How Confluent Commercialized Apache Kafka

Not too long ago, open-source technology projects were pursued in large part for altruistic reasons—they were “almost religious,” and not viewed as businesslike or potentially profitable, says Jay Kreps, the founder and CEO of newly public data company Confluent*.

Today, companies like Confluent have changed that perception. Confluent—which commercializes the Apache Kafka open-source project and specializes in continuous, real-time data processing—went public this past June and just reported its first financial quarter with more than $100 million in revenue. On this episode of the Billion-Dollar B2B podcast, Battery General Partner Dharmesh Thakker talks with Kreps about the company’s journey from a small project developed inside business-networking site LinkedIn into a large, public technology company.

Kreps offers advice for other entrepreneurs scaling their own B2B tech companies, including thoughts on:

  • How to partner with big public cloud-computing providers, even when you might also be competing with them;
  • How to balance a low-friction, bottoms-up sales model with enterprise sales;
  • The benefits of doubling down on the cloud early on in a company’s lifecycle; and
  • How to consider the decision to take your company public, even when you could continue to raise capital privately.

This material is provided for informational purposes, and it is not, and may not be relied on in any manner as, legal, tax or investment advice or as an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy an interest in any fund or investment vehicle managed by Battery Ventures or any other Battery entity. 

The information and data are as of the publication date unless otherwise noted.

Content obtained from third-party sources, although believed to be reliable, has not been independently verified as to its accuracy or completeness and cannot be guaranteed. Battery Ventures has no obligation to update, modify or amend the content of this post nor notify its readers in the event that any information, opinion, projection, forecast or estimate included, changes or subsequently becomes inaccurate.

The information above may contain projections or other forward-looking statements regarding future events or expectations. Predictions, opinions and other information discussed in this video are subject to change continually and without notice of any kind and may no longer be true after the date indicated. Battery Ventures assumes no duty to and does not undertake to update forward-looking statements.

*Denotes a Battery portfolio company. For a full list of all Battery investments, please click here.

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