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Redpanda’s $100M Raise Reminds Us Of 2021

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As data streaming becomes more in demand, startups in the sector are getting a boost.

Redpanda Data, a streaming data startup, announced on Tuesday it raised $100 million in Series C funding. The round was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, Google Ventures and Haystack.

The San Francisco-based startup provides real-time streaming data services bolstered by the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Using the platform, companies are able to analyze data as soon as it’s collected. Redpanda has amassed a large customer base that spans different sectors, including Cisco, Midjourney, Texas Instruments and Vodafone.

The company says it has enjoyed a healthy fiscal year, which included multiplying its revenue growth 5x over and doubling its workforce. That’s pretty huge — especially at a time when startups are experiencing revenue stress and laying off employees in mass workforce reductions, and very few companies are thriving.

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That may be the reason for Redpanda’s oversubscribed raise. The 4-year-old company previously raised a $50 million Series B round just 16 months ago. We haven’t seen many follow-up rounds happen this quickly since the funding boom of 2021 — and look what happened there.

How it works

The platform can be plugged into an open-source streaming API known as Kafka and also can be integrated into companies’ existing cloud networks.

“The hero of the Redpanda story has always been the engineer, hands on keyboard, behind a terminal, materializing her ideas into a working system,” said Alex Gallego, the CEO of Redpanda, in a statement. “That’s who we built Redpanda for, and why we made it easy to use, scalable to double-digit ​​gigabytes per second, and compatible with all the existing applications,”

The platform works by acting as both a data storage system and a data streaming system — using AI and machine learning, companies can integrate their own data into the machine-learning system to bolster responses, or changes. That sort of platform has been increasingly useful for user-facing applications like Midjourney’s AI-generated images, or video game platforms.

“As a new game studio, we needed to build a flexible data platform that empowers our developers to get real-time insights from game events, without having to worry about the backend infrastructure,” Colin Riddell, an executive at Fortis Games, said in a statement. The company is one of Redpanda’s clients.

While Redpanda has managed to keep up the momentum many startups lost in 2021, we’re not likely to see other startups in the same place.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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