Redpanda helps companies capture data in real time in a modern context, providing a new way to stream data while maintaining backwards compatibility with Kafka, the popular open source streaming project.
Today, the company announced a $100 million Series C, just 16 months after announcing a $50 million Series B. This kind of trajectory was common a couple of years ago, but seeing a company raise $150 million in such a quick succession these days has become far more rare.
CEO Alex Gallego says the company has been performing so well that existing investors stepped up with the additional investment, seizing the opportunity to capitalize on the startup’s startling growth.
“We’re basically oversubscribed on this round, and I know you mentioned that in this climate, it’s been hard to raise money, but the reason for this is that we quintupled our revenue last year and doubled the size of the company – and we literally haven’t lost the deal in seven months against all the competitors,” Gallego told TechCrunch.
At the time of the Series B, Gallego described the appeal of the product his startup has created this way:
“What’s happened in the market is that streaming is now the foundational part of how to build new modern applications. It sits as the bottom layer on which to build new applications. And for that you need unification, and what I mean by that is you need limitless data retention. And so that feature alone actually changed how the market perceived and how developers think about real-time data,” Gallego explained.
He says that it turned out that this idea has resonated with the market, perhaps even better than he envisioned when he launched the company in 2019. “We’re one of the few technologies where the CIO looks great, because they cut their bill in half, developers love the technology, and there’s basically zero cost to migrate from Kafka into Redpanda,” he said.
He says as the company has been growing so quickly, he needs the capital infusion to begin to expand in three areas including go-to-market, scaling to meet the needs of larger customers and customer support. What’s more, the infinite data retention that the platform allows becomes more important as companies are building large language models, which has also pushed the company’s growth.
Customers currently include Cisco, Akamai, Laceworks and Vodaphone, among others.
The company had around 60 employees in February 2022. Today, it has 160 and is actively hiring, according to Gallego. He says as a Latino leader, he is cognizant of the need to build a diverse workforce and is working to do so as he scales the company, starting with the leadership team and working from there.
Today’s round was led by a trio of returning investors: Lightspeed Venture Partners, GV and HaystackVC.