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Confluent, the foundational platform for data-in-motion

Founded by the original creators of Apache Kafka, Confluent helps organizations harness the full power of continuously flowing data to innovate and win in the modern digital world.


Confluent was co-founded by Jay Kreps, Jun Rao and Neha Narkhede in 2014 to commercialize Apache Kafka, an open-source software project the co-founders had created as colleagues at LinkedIn in 2008.

Kreps, Rao and Narkhede recognized the growing need for organizations to be able to efficiently handle and act on real-time data feeds, like LinkedIn’s own. Historically, most operational business data resided in custom-configured databases and a handful of on-premise applications. But in the late 2000s and early aughts, as data—gathered from sources ranging from cloud apps to IOT devices–began to proliferate and lower data-storage costs started allowing organizations to retain massive amounts of data, new, innovative data use-cases began to emerge. Increasingly, organizations needed the ability to make business decisions on real-time, continuously flowing data.

Kreps, Rao and Narkhede launched Confluent to provide a business solution to organizations beyond the technical, open-source community. Confluent’s cloud-native platform acts as a central nervous system for its clients, allowing them to connect all their IT systems and applications to the platform to capture real-time data streams. Harnessing real-time data using Confluent, organizations ranging in size from Fortune 100 companies to SMBs can respond intelligently to everything that happens in their business.

Battery has had a long-standing thesis on the cloud-data integration and analytics market, leading to its investments in Databricks, Collibra, InfluxData, Matillion, Sisense and Streamsets. In 2020, Battery worked with existing shareholders at Confluent to acquire a stake in the business during the company’s growth stage.


Confluent went public in June 2021 (NASDAQ: CFLT).


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The presented case study investment was made in particular economic and market conditions. There can be no assurance that Battery Venture would elect, or be able, to exploit similar opportunities in a similar manner under similar or different economic and market conditions. More generally, there can be no assurances that the Battery vehicles will have comparable investment opportunities in the future. No assumptions should be made that any investments identified above were profitable. It should not be assumed that recommendations made in the future will be profitable or comparable to the portfolio company described in this case study. For a full list of all Battery Ventures investments, please click here.

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