Confluent, the startup providing commercial support for and building tools on top of the Apache Kafka open-source software, announced today a $24 million funding round. The news comes just eight months after Confluent spun out of LinkedIn with $6.9 million in tow.

Apache Kafka, officially described as a distributed high-throughput publish-subscribe messaging system, has become increasingly popular as a tool for quickly routing many data streams around companies. Competing systems include ActiveMQ and RabbitMQ, not to mention Apache Flume. Naturally, Confluent cofounder and chief executive Jay Kreps is optimistic.

“Right now we are lucky to be kind of central in a really hot space without a ton of competition,” Kreps told VentureBeat in an email. “Each of the big cloud vendors — Amazon, Microsoft, and Google — are building out similar streaming platforms (some directly inspired by Kafka) to host in their clouds. These platforms are quite nice and I think we all learn a lot from each other in this space. In comparison to them we are an open system and available outside a single hosting provider.”

Confluent has 18 people on staff. Kreps declined to provide information about how many customers the startup has accumulated. To date, Mountain View, Calif.-based Confluent has raised $31 million.

Index Ventures is leading the new round, with investor Mike Volpi joining the board. Volpi has previously backed open-source startups Big Switch, Elastic, and Hortonworks. Previous investor Benchmark Capital is also participating in the new round.

“Feature-wise our focus will be on security, scalability, stream processing, connectors to all the existing systems companies have, and management and monitoring tools,” wrote Kreps, who is one of the creators of Apache Kafka.


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