Big data platform maker confluent plans IPO

On April 25, according to foreign media reports, confluent, a unicorn start-up company that commercializes Apache Kafka open source data platform, plans to go public.

In a brief announcement, the company said it had filed initial public offering documents with the securities and Exchange Commission and that the number and price of shares to be sold had not yet been determined. This means that confluent’s IPO valuation target has yet to be set, although it could be substantial: the start-up is valued at $4.5bn after its recent private financing.

China software network learned that fluent, headquartered in California, is a major player in the data management market. It sells a commercial version of Apache Kafka, a popular open source platform for transferring information between technology systems.

Currently, Apache Kafka is deployed in more than 80% of the fortune 100. The IT team uses it to transfer diagnostic information from the data center infrastructure to the monitoring application. The marketing department can use Kafka to transmit website activity indicators to its analysis system. The popularity of the platform is not only due to its support for many use cases, but also due to its speed: Apache Kafka can transfer trillions of data points in just a few milliseconds a day.

Although Apache Kafka is good, it also has some technical defects. For enterprises, the most important thing is the complexity of management. The commercial version of fluent platform aims to simplify the management application of Apache Kafka.

The reason is that Apache Kafka must be installed with another open source tool called Apache zookeeper. Fluent’s commercial Kafka simplifies the process of building and maintaining zookeeper facilities. Last month, the company released a preview version of the software, completely eliminating the need to install the tool.

China has seen that fluent also provides paid Kafka services in a managed cloud version, which frees it teams from other management tasks related to managing infrastructure. The cloud version is likely to be the focus of the IPO campaign for the start-up. This is a stable source of recurrent income and helps to increase the interest of institutional investors.

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