Finnish open-source-as-a-service startup Aiven adds $1bn to valuation

Demand for PostgreSQL and Kafka driving interest in cloud service, CEO tells The Register


Finnish open-source-as-a-service provider Aiven received $210 million in funding this week, adding $1 billion to its nominal valuation in just nine months.

The Series D cash injection – led by Eurazeo, and joined by funds and accounts managed by BlackRock as well as existing investors IVP, Atomico, Earlybird, World Innovation Lab, and Salesforce Ventures – follows $60 million Series C funding which valued the firm at $2 billion.

The latest investment round values the company at $3 billion. It's remarkable considering it only supports open-source software and was worth $800 million when it got its first $100 million tranche of Series C funding in March last year.

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

CEO Oskari Saarenmaa said the company's capitalization was more than sufficient from the earlier round but when the opportunity came for more funding, the company took it in order to help fund long-term growth.

He said the company had increased its headcount by 50 percent since it last announced funding, with new offices secured in Japan and Singapore. Around one-third of the workforce remains in Helsinki, though.

Saarenmaa said the company currently had around 140 open positions. It is looking for engineers to help build its own platforms, but also developers to contribute to the open-source projects to which it contributes. "As we're growing, we want to have teams that can be close to customers, so we're looking for solution architects, tech support and salespeople."

Aiven was founded in 2016. The CEO argues that investor confidence is based on the fact that there are tens of millions of software developers worldwide. When they want to build something new, they are keen to do that on open-source software and the easiest way for them to do that is in the cloud, on software provided as a service.

Because Aiven only provides open-source systems this way, developers can be confident their applications can be ported to other clouds or their own systems when needed.

The two open-source projects driving growth were Apache Kafka stream-processing platform and relational database PostgreSQL, Saarenmaa said. Developers are using Kafka to adapt batch processing systems to real-time processing while also building new applications with real-time as the centerpiece.

Meanwhile, PostgreSQL was emerging as the de facto standard open-source database.

"PostgreSQL has developed so much over the years that it is now so fully featured today. You can build anything on top of that. Another thing that is working in its favor is it is truly community-driven. There is no one single company behind it and there is a very wide group of dev in the project," he said. ®

Broader topics


Other stories you might like

  • Experts: AI should be recognized as inventors in patent law
    Plus: Police release deepfake of murdered teen in cold case, and more

    In-brief Governments around the world should pass intellectual property laws that grant rights to AI systems, two academics at the University of New South Wales in Australia argued.

    Alexandra George, and Toby Walsh, professors of law and AI, respectively, believe failing to recognize machines as inventors could have long-lasting impacts on economies and societies. 

    "If courts and governments decide that AI-made inventions cannot be patented, the implications could be huge," they wrote in a comment article published in Nature. "Funders and businesses would be less incentivized to pursue useful research using AI inventors when a return on their investment could be limited. Society could miss out on the development of worthwhile and life-saving inventions."

    Continue reading
  • Declassified and released: More secret files on US govt's emergency doomsday powers
    Nuke incoming? Quick break out the plans for rationing, censorship, property seizures, and more

    More papers describing the orders and messages the US President can issue in the event of apocalyptic crises, such as a devastating nuclear attack, have been declassified and released for all to see.

    These government files are part of a larger collection of records that discuss the nature, reach, and use of secret Presidential Emergency Action Documents: these are executive orders, announcements, and statements to Congress that are all ready to sign and send out as soon as a doomsday scenario occurs. PEADs are supposed to give America's commander-in-chief immediate extraordinary powers to overcome extraordinary events.

    PEADs have never been declassified or revealed before. They remain hush-hush, and their exact details are not publicly known.

    Continue reading
  • Stolen university credentials up for sale by Russian crooks, FBI warns
    Forget dark-web souks, thousands of these are already being traded on public bazaars

    Russian crooks are selling network credentials and virtual private network access for a "multitude" of US universities and colleges on criminal marketplaces, according to the FBI.

    According to a warning issued on Thursday, these stolen credentials sell for thousands of dollars on both dark web and public internet forums, and could lead to subsequent cyberattacks against individual employees or the schools themselves.

    "The exposure of usernames and passwords can lead to brute force credential stuffing computer network attacks, whereby attackers attempt logins across various internet sites or exploit them for subsequent cyber attacks as criminal actors take advantage of users recycling the same credentials across multiple accounts, internet sites, and services," the Feds' alert [PDF] said.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022