Managed open source data infrastructure provider Aiven raises $60M

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Aiven, a provider of fully managed and hosted services for myriad open source data infrastructure projects including Kafka, Grafana, and Cassandra, has raised $60 million in a series C extension round at a $2 billion valuation.

The raise comes as businesses across the spectrum embrace open source software as part of their digital transformation efforts, given that open source lowers the barrier to entry and gives companies greater flexibility and control over their technology stack. However, open source software adoption might present compatibility issues, while vulnerabilities and the growing abundance of supply chain attacks can also prove problematic. But perhaps more than that, managed services allow developers to focus on their core strengths, which is where companies such as Aiven come into play.

The open source services market is pegged as a $21.7 billion industry today, though this figure is predicted to more than double within five years as cloud computing adoption continues to drive demand for enterprise-grade open source services and support.

The open source factor

Founded out of Finland in 2016, Aiven offers a “database-as-a-service” for nine popular open source data technologies: Apache Kafka, Apache Cassandra, M3, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Redis, InfluxDB, OpenSearch (Elasticsearch fork), and Grafana. Hosting is available on the “big three” public clouds (AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform), as well as on DigitalOcean and UpCloud.

This combination — open source software and support for multiple clouds — will likely appeal to companies wishing to avoid vendor lock-in, as they can move between clouds while retaining ownership of all their data.

“All Aiven customers are already working with a public cloud,” Aiven cofounder and CEO, Oskari Saarenmaa, told VentureBeat. “Most of these clouds offer services like Aiven’s, but often the scalable distributed data processing systems are proprietary to a particular cloud.”

There is the time- and resource-saving aspect to consider as well.

“Aiven customers can stay focused on their own business instead of building and fighting infrastructure,” Saarenmaa added. “The talent market is very competitive today, so businesses look to focus their talent on what matters the most to them.”

Aiven had previously raised $150 million, including the $100 million series C round it announced back in March, and the extension was co-led by existing investors World Innovation Lab and IVP, with participation from Atomico among others. The additional cash injection, which brings the series C round to $160 million total, has more than doubled the company’s $800 million value in just seven months’ time.

If nothing else, this is a testament to the value investors are placing in managed open source services. Rival Confluent is fresh from its IPO and is doing well on the markets, with its valuation rising 60% to nearly $18 billion in the four months since going public. Aiven, for its part, reported a 100% year-on-year revenue growth, driven by major enterprise customers such as Comcast, Atlassian, and Toyota.

“The cool thing about our business is that the overall data and cloud market is growing, and the opportunity ahead is massive as all companies are becoming software companies,” Saarenmaa concluded.

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