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Aklivity Lands $4.1M Seed Funding led by 468 Capital for Universal Streaming API Layer

·4 min read

Funding will accelerate the development of Zilla, an event-driven API gateway for streaming architectures

PALO ALTO, Calif., May 25, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aklivity, the company pioneering streaming API management, today announced an oversubscribed $4.1M seed round led by 468 Capital with participation from Pear VC, Alumni Ventures and an angel syndicate including former NGINX CEO Gus Robertson and DigitalOcean founder Mitch Wainer. The investment will go towards growing the team and accelerating the momentum of Zilla, Aklivity’s open source event-driven API gateway. With founders who played a critical role in the creation and commercialization of WebSocket, Aklivity represents the culmination of over a decade of learning in the real-time networking space.

The launch of Zilla comes amid the rapid adoption of streaming, driven by use cases such as ride-sharing, telehealth and fraud detection. The ability to process data in near real-time is increasingly regarded not as a competitive advantage but a necessity across industries. As a result, Event Streaming Platforms now form the core of modern enterprise backends. Apache Kafka, the leading Event Streaming Platform, is used by over 80% of the Fortune 500.

While event streaming has unlocked opportunities within the datacenter, it has also created new challenges beyond it. Traditionally, frontend and backend services directly interface each other via REST APIs. With event streaming, backends are decoupled and services interact through a standalone data layer. This data layer has its own API, which is not designed for the web. Consequently, for external clients—mobile phones, browsers, partner systems, IoT devices—to reach this data layer, a stack of intermediary brokers, web servers and integration frameworks is needed. These middlemen end up disjoining the data path to some of the most valuable consumers and producers of data, which run on the edge.

Aklivity emerged last summer from the Pear Accelerator with a mission of unifying the interface to streaming data for all apps and services, no matter where or how they run. The result was Zilla, an API gateway that enables a seamless connection between Event Streaming Platforms and external clients using only APIs that the clients natively support. By eliminating the need for a disparate integration stack, Zilla decreases latency and DevOps load and drastically simplifies the development of immersive end-customer experiences.

Unlike incumbent API gateways, Zilla natively supports a wide range of networking and event-streaming protocols, including Kafka. It can translate between different protocol combinations, enabling it to expose Kafka streams through application level REST APIs, as well as other APIs, such as SSE, MQTT, AMQP, gRPC and WebSocket. But beyond just creating streaming APIs, Zilla also helps manage them with streaming-specific authentication, monitoring and cataloging features.

“Today, having your data be in motion is a must,” said Aklivity co-founder and CEO Leonid Lukyanov, “you simply cannot address the scale and urgency of modern use cases with slow, batched data. Technology such as Apache Kafka is helping teams reinvent their architectures, but why build everything in real-time at scale internally, only to provide a non-scalable synchronous HTTP interface to the outside world? At Aklivity, we’re extending all of the benefits of streaming to where it matters most.”

“As companies transition to the next generation of streaming architectures, yesterday’s batched-focused API solutions don’t carry over,” says Florian Leibert, General Partner at 468 Capital. “We’re excited to partner with Leonid and John who are applying their deep experience in the real-time networking space to define a new category of streaming API management.”

Aklivity’s open-source event-driven API gateway, Zilla, is available now at www.aklivity.io. Aklivity is using its funding to recruit for a number of positions, which can be found here.

About Aklivity
Aklivity is building a universal API layer for streaming architectures. Its open source universal API gateway, Zilla, provides a unified, external interface to event-driven services and data. Zilla natively supports a range of network and messaging protocols, including Kafka. This enables it to expose event-streams to clients over their APIs of choice. Non-Kafka apps can now publish and subscribe to Kafka topics without the need for intermediary brokers, services and even Kafka Connect.

With Zilla, developers are empowered to extend event-driven architectures to the edge. Streaming data to mobile/web apps for immersive end-user experiences becomes simpler; ingesting IoT readings at scale becomes more cost-effective; providing external partners with secure access to internal event-streams becomes possible. Developers are also able to seamlessly interface REST services to event streams, and bridge request-response and messaging deployments like never before.

Aklivity was founded by CEO Leonid Lukyanov and CTO John Fallows, and is backed by venture capital firms including 468 Capital, Pear VC and Alumni Ventures, as well as a number of high-profile angel investors in the networking space. Further details are available at Aklivity’s website here.

Media contact:
Chris Ulbrich
Firebrand Communications for Aklivity