API And Service Lifecycle Management Platform Company Kong Raises $43 Million

By Dan Anderson • Apr 3, 2019

Kong, the leading API and service lifecycle management platform for modern architectures, announced it has raised $43 million in Series C funding led by Index Ventures with participation from existing investors Andreessen Horowitz and Charles Rivers Ventures and new investors GGV Capital and World Innovation Lab. Including this round, Kong has raised $71 million total.

“Kong’s mission is to solve one of the biggest technical challenges in the 21st century by delivering a platform that intelligently connects and secures data in motion at a massive scale, with optimum performance and reliability,” said Kong CEO and co-founder Augusto “Aghi” Marietti. “This funding will allow us to continue to help Global 5000 companies transform themselves into digital enterprises as they shift away from monolith legacy systems towards decentralized, hybrid and multi-cloud architectures.”

Marietti founded Kong with CTO Marco Palladino. Marietti and Palladino previously worked together as co-founders of Mashape API Marketplace. Mashape API Marketplace became the largest API hub with more than 300,000 developers and 20,000 APIs in 2015. Two years later, the company was sold to RapidAPI.

“It’s been a privilege to work with Kong and its fantastic team, and see them evolve from a small company to a market leader, with the potential to become the 800-pound gorilla in open core development,” added Index Ventures partner Mike Volpi. “While Kong has enjoyed a lot of success to date, the microservices evolution is still in its early innings. Thousands upon thousands of applications will have to migrate to a microservices architecture, and Kong is at the epicenter of this movement.”

With this funding round, Kong is planning to deliver the industry’s first service control platform that acts as the nervous system for modern software architectures by brokering information across all services. And the company will be investing in international expansion including Asia Pacific and Europe, build its go-to-market capabilities and team, and grow the Kong open source community.

“Modern software is now built in the cloud, with applications consuming other applications, service to service,” explained Andreessen Horowitz general partner Martin Casado. “We’re at the tipping point of enterprise adoption of microservices architectures, and companies are turning to new open source-based developer tools and platforms to fuel their next wave of innovation. Kong is uniquely suited to help enterprises as they make this shift by supporting an organization’s entire service architecture, from centralized or decentralized, monolith or microservices.”

According to IDC, 90% of all new applications will feature microservices architectures and leverage third-party code by 2022. And 35% of all production applications will be cloud-native. And an estimated 500 million new logical applications will be created between 2018 and 2023.

“There’s been significant market traction in open source business models, particularly in the container and microservices space as more companies use these services for digital transformation,” CRV general partner Devdutt Yellurkar commented. “We believe Kong is strongly positioned for success, as they can help organizations whether they are working with a monolith or microservices architecture–or a combination of both.”

Kong’s Service Control Platform is able to seamlessly connect APIs and microservices across cloud-native, hybrid, and on-premise environments to make it easy for developers to create scalable microservice applications that drive business growth. And the Kong Service Control Platform enables end-to-end service lifecycle management from pre-production to post-production.

“Kong and World Innovation Lab both share the same vision of a next generation of modern business,” noted World Innovation Labe general partner Rob Theis. “We are excited to help accelerate Kong’s growth including in Japan, where they already have great customers embracing Kong’s service control platform. Together, WiL and Kong will empower leading companies across the globe to build enduring businesses.”

This funding round follows record growth in 2018. Specifically, Kong doubled its headcount, reached 100 Kong Enterprise including Yahoo! Japan, Ferrari, WeWork, and SoulCycle. And open source Kong saw more than 54 million downloads.

“At GGV Capital, we seek to invest in companies creating the next wave of business innovation,” GGV Capital managing partner Glenn Solomon pointed out. “GGV is thrilled to be part of Kong’s delivery of new, open core developer technology that makes it easier for app developers to create scalable, high-performance applications that drive business growth.”