By James Black, Somesh Dash, Eric Liaw, and Michael Miao
Today, IVP is thrilled to announce our Series B investment in Aiven. Based in Helsinki, Aiven is a company that combines the best open-source data technologies with public cloud infrastructure. Aiven hosts and manages open-source databases, messaging systems, and monitoring tools like Kafka, PostgreSQL, Elasticsearch, MySQL, Cassandra, Redis, InfluxDB, Grafana and M3 for hundreds of customers around the world on all major public cloud platforms. Customers can easily deploy production-grade clusters in minutes and sleep easy with Aiven’s 99.99% service level guarantee and end-to-end encryption. IVP is the lead investor in Aiven’s $40M Series B financing, and Eric Liaw will join the company’s board of directors. Aiven’s mission is to empower developers to do what they do best, build applications, and eliminate the friction of worrying about underlying data infrastructure. We are thrilled to join them on this journey.
Here is why we invested:
Open-Source is Eating the World
Open-source software (OSS) was once a technology that was only used by companies at the bleeding edge. Times have changed, and companies of all sizes now depend on OSS as the backbone of their data infrastructure. These companies are now leveraging projects like Kafka to enable data streaming, PostgreSQL to store relational data, Elasticsearch to power search, and Cassandra to handle unstructured data. The open-source community and distribution model has accelerated the pace of product development and made the latest data technologies freely available to everyone, and adoption has subsequently increased exponentially. That said, there’s oftentimes a gap between the promise of the ease of OSS and the practical reality of unlocking its benefits. After all, OSS is free for anyone to download but managing and hosting the software requires dedicated engineering resources and technical expertise. While technology behemoths like Facebook, Google, Netflix, and Salesforce have the resources to manage OSS internally, smaller companies in non-technology sectors typically do not. Even those companies that have unlimited resources can benefit significantly as Aiven eliminates the opportunity cost associated with managing OSS internally and allows engineering teams to focus on their core product, not the plumbing. By offering the latest OSS technologies in the cloud as a service, Aiven democratizes access to the latest open-source data technologies for all companies. Aiven is providing digital picks and shovels to empower developers all over the world, all the way from Finland.
Exceptional Customer Love
IVP spoke to many of Aiven’s customers during our diligence process and we were blown away by the overwhelmingly positive response. Engineers are a notoriously difficult bunch to please, which makes the unanimously positive feedback we heard even more impressive. The recurring theme was that Aiven’s platform “just works”. While this may seem trivial at the surface, providing these services at scale with 99.99% availability is a major engineering feat. Aiven’s secret sauce lies in its cloud operating platform that can concurrently manage tens of thousands of VMs and ensure seamless updates, back-ups, and automatic rebalancing, with zero downtime. The Aiven platform was built from the ground up to be scalable and resilient, which stems from the wealth of experience from the founding team.
Experienced and Cohesive Team
Co-founders Oskari, Hannu, Heikki, and Mika have spent the last two decades working together managing mission-critical databases at companies like F-Secure and Nokia. The founding team has a deep understanding of the problems faced by their customers and are incredibly mission driven. Before founding Aiven, the group started an open-source consultancy called Ohmu to help organizations of all sizes solve complex database issues. They began to see increasing fragmentation in the database market and noticed a trend of customers choosing to run multiple databases in the public cloud (and in a growing number of cases, across multiple clouds). The team founded Aiven in 2016 to build their vision of a single open-source data cloud that serves all database needs for customers of all sizes. The team started with a managed PostgreSQL service on AWS and GCP and has since expanded the offering to include nine different managed services across all major public clouds. Oskari and his team have accomplished incredible things to date, but we are even more excited to see what lies ahead. Aiven has only scratched the surface of this vast and growing market, and we look forward to supporting their team on this remarkable journey!
If you are passionate about open-source and want to jump on a rocketship, Aiven is hiring for roles in Sales, Marketing, Product, and Engineering in Helsinki, Berlin, Boston and Sydney. Please visit here to see open roles. Eteenpäin (onward in Finnish)!
IVP is a premier later-stage venture capital firm based in Menlo Park, CA. We have been fortunate to partner with top infrastructure software companies like AppDynamics, Datadog, GitHub, Harness, HashiCorp, MuleSoft, and Sumo Logic as well as other market-leading software enterprise companies like CrowdStrike, Dropbox, Looker, Rubrik, Slack, Tanium, UiPath, and Yext.