Tech

Why did startup Aiven’s value rise $1.2bn in 7 months?

Finnish open-source-as-a-service provider Aiven has attracted a $60m extension to its Series C funding which now values the firm at $2bn.

The latest cash injection suggests remarkable growth in the nominal value of the Scandinavian startup, founded five years ago, which was worth $800m when it got its first $100m-tranche of Series C funding in March.

Aiven sells open-source data technologies as a managed service. Unlike some DBaaS systems, which punt proprietary or less permissive licences for their as-a-service offers built on open source technologies, Aiven provides a stack of as-a-service systems in their true open source form.

Apache streaming platform Kafka is Aiven’s most popular product, but open source relational database PostgreSQL, which released iteration 14 earlier this month, Apache Cassandra, Redis, MySQL, OpenSearch and more are available.

The privately owned company says it has seen revenue double year-on-year but didn’t provide an absolute figure. Staffing numbers have increased from 40 to 230+ in the last 18 months.

Because the majority of employees have been hired during the pandemic’s enforced home working, it has allowed Aiven to take a wider view on recruitment, CEO and co-founder Oskari Saarenmaa told The Register.

“We went into COVID as a team of around 40 people, [after that] we just started hiring people remotely, wherever they are. We’ve now added more than 200 people during the pandemic and have employees in close to 20 different countries today,” he said.

As well as expanding the business, Askari said Aiven is planning to up the products it sells, including the addition of ClickHouse, a Yandex open-source column-oriented DBMS for online analytical processing, as a managed service.

“Perhaps more importantly, we have the launch of Apache Flink (a unified stream-processing and batch-processing framework) service launch, which allows you to implement business logic directly within Aiven, without having to host that elsewhere. Flink allows you to do stream processing directly on the platform rather than having to pull out the data to an external application to do something there and then push it back to the platform,” Saarenmaa said.

Commenting on the growth in company valuation, he told us it is recognition that the opportunity for growth in the cloud data market is so high. Cloud data warehouse biz Snowflake and data lake and framework vendor Databricks have also seen staggering valuations in the last year.

The company’s mission, though, is still centred on helping developers using open source technologies “have a better day,” Saarenmaa said.

“You don’t have to set up all the infrastructure first before you can start building something that actually matters to you and your end-users,” he said. ®


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