Business Today

Far And Wide

Neha Narkhede's tech firm offers tools for fast data access
Anup Jayaram | Print Edition: October 6, 2019
Far And Wide
Neha Narkhede, Co-founder and CTO, Confluent

Neha Narkhede, the Co-Founder and CTO of Confluent, has a deep background in computer sciences. Her fascination started when her parents bought her a computer at eight years. She went on to do her BE in Computer Science from the University of Pune and followed it up with an MS from Georgia Institute of Technology. While she started off her career in Oracle, it was in LinkedIn that she was part of the team that helped develop Apache Kafka, a platform which could process the networking site's influx of data in real time. That is where her entrepreneurial fire was stoked.

Apache Kafka allowed companies to get access to their data quickly so that business leaders could make business decisions faster. In 2014, she set up Confluent with two LinkedIn colleagues - Jay Kreps and Jun Rao - and helped develop tools that companies could use while accessing Apache Kafka, which became open source in 2011.

The streaming data technology company raised $125 million in January 2019 in a round led by Sequoia Capital and is now valued at $2.5 billion. Among its big customers are Netflix, Goldman Sachs and Uber.

Narkhede is a keen traveller and an avid scuba diver.

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