5 more open source companies to watch in 2017

Startups ad oomph to open source projects like Apache Kafka, KVM and Redis

5 more open source companies to watch in 2017

An exciting class of startups with a focus on enterprise IT are those built on open source foundations, in some cases commercializing and adding value to an already popular open source project.

We recently highlighted 5 such open source-oriented companies, and below we introduce you to 5 more. Note that this list only contains companies that have announced funding over the past year or so, and isn't intended to be an all-inclusive compilation. Without further ado…


Founded: 2014

Headquarters: Palo Alto

Funding: $50M in fresh funding, led by Sequoia, and more than $80M raised overall

Focus: Founded by the team that built open source Apache Kafka while at LinkedIn, Confluent provides an enterprise-grade streaming platform designed for making sense of data in real-time. The company is claiming huge growth over the past year (you know, the silly sort of 700% growth numbers private companies get to share) and has expanded into Europe with a headquarters office in London. Banks use Confluent Enterprise to spot fraud, telcos use it to pinpoint network issues and many other applications are enabled as well. CEO and co-founder Jay Kreps, in announcing Confluent's latest funding round, wrote in a blog post that "We think streaming platforms represent a genuinely new category in infrastructure" — if so, might be time for you to learn more about what they are...

Confluent screenshot Confluent

Confluent control center

Redis Labs

Founded: 2011

Headquarters: Mountain View 

Funding: $42 million in total funding, including $14M in Series C investments, led by Bain Capital Ventures and Carmel Ventures.

Focus: This company is home to the open source Redis in-memory database management platform project but also offers Redis Enterprise commercially, and claims more than 7,000 enterprise customers, including Dell, TD Bank and Staples. A fast and popular NoSQL technology used to support containers and assorted applications, Redis is available both as on-premises software and as a cloud service in private, public and hybrid configurations. The company pulled off quite a coup in 2015 when it hired Redis creator Salvatore Sanfilippo, who previously shepherded the project at VMware and Pivotal, to oversee Redis development going forward. Redis Labs even holds an annual RedisConf event for users of the technology.

Redis Redis


Founded: 2014

Headquarters: Tel Aviv, with a new office in Boston

Funding: $24M to date, including $16M in Series B funding in November led by OpenView Venture Partners

Focus: Offers an AI-powered log analysis platform that delivers the open source ELK Stack logging software as an enterprise-grade cloud service. The service, an alternative to offerings from the likes of Splunk and Sumo Logic, collects data from machines and apps, and enables customers to find and analyze the data that they really need via machine learning-powered Cognitive Insights technology. A new Live Tail features allows for viewing of logs in real time. Among Logz.io’s customers are CNN, British Airways, EA and Accenture.

cognitive insights screenshot Logz.io

Logz.io's Cognitive Insights technology uses machine learning to correlate information in log messages with discussions that humans are having on the web about specific topics to determine which log lines are meaningful for a given user at any certain point in time


Founded: 2015 

Headquarters: Palo Alto, with R&D team based in Tel Aviv

Funding: $23 million, including $16M in Series B funding led by Western Digital Capital, Samsung Ventures, Magma Ventures and Qualcomm Ventures

Scylla mascot ScyllaDB

The Scylla mascot

Focus: From the creators of the KVM hypervisor, this company offers a “drop-in replacement for Apache Cassandra” NoSQL databases that it boasts has 10x the throughput and storage capacity and that challenges Redis on the performance front. Arista Networks and IBM are among those outfits that have bitten on the open source ScyllaDB. As Network World contributor Ben Kepes wrote recently, the open source and proprietary database software markets have become increasingly crowded of late, but ScyllaDB (once called Cloudius Systems) has done well to differentiate itself: “The dual promises of larger scale and resource impacts that it resolves is a compelling proposition.” The company last year held what it referred to as its “first annual” Scylla Summit, so ScyllaDB must be planning for its technology to stick around.


Founded: 2011 (as NFLabs)

Headquarters: San Francisco

Funding: Scored $4.1M in Series A funding in December in a round led by Vertex Ventures 

Focus:  ZEPL comes from the team behind the Apache Zeppelin open-source notebook for big data analytics visualization and is one of numerous companies that sees business intelligence and analytics software vendor Tableau as being vulnerable despite — or because of — its size (market capitalization of $4.1B). ZEPL aims to help enterprises eliminate data analytics silos by providing data scientists, business analysts and others with tools that share a common interface and that support modern frameworks such as Hadoop, Spark, Cassandra and MongoDB.

Apache Zeppelin notebook Apache

Apache Zeppelin notebook

(MORE: 15 Big Data & Analytics companies to watch | 10 Internet of Things companies to watch)

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