Confluent, a start-up founded by ex-LinkedIn employees, is creating a buzz in Silicon Valley with its data-streaming software, Apache Kafka. This open-source software, which was developed while the founders were still at LinkedIn, can handle billions of real-time data reads and writes per day, making it a favourite among big tech companies like Netflix and Uber. Confluent’s version of Kafka, which offers additional features and support, has attracted $31m in venture capital funding. The team believes that Kafka can become the central nervous system for all companies, making big data more manageable. While Kafka is free to use, Confluent’s revenue comes from selling a premium version with added features, as well as support and training. The company is also working on a cloud version of Kafka. Despite the competition, Confluent is confident about Kafka’s potential, given its already widespread use and the growing demand for real-time data processing.

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