The team behind creating Conductor, Netflix’s popular open-source project for microservices and workflow orchestration, has raised $9.3 million in funding to launch Orkes. It is the first fully managed cloud platform for the fast-growing community of early-stage and Fortune 100 companies relying on Conductor, including Tesla, Oracle, American Express, and Cisco.
Orkes is a cloud-hosted version of the tool based on Conductor that will fuel the continued growth of the open-source Conductor community. The founding team brings engineering and product leadership experience from Netflix, Google, AWS, and Microsoft Azure.
The round was co-led by Battery Ventures and Vertex Ventures US alongside notable cloud infrastructure angel investors Mahendra Ramsinghani and Gokul Rajaram and senior executives from companies like Amazon and Facebook.
Funding will go into building a strong team
Battery Ventures General Partner Dharmesh Thakker led his firm’s investment and will be involved with observer status, and Vertex US General Partner Sandeep Bhadra will join the Orkes board of directors to help guide the company’s growth.
Orkes will use the funding to build its team, create an enterprise ecosystem, and support the Conductor open-source platform and community.
“Conductor is critical infrastructure for thousands of businesses, but as an open-source project, you still have to build it, manage it, and host it yourself,” said Jeu George, CEO and co-founder of Orkes.
“We built Orkes so developers can focus on their core software instead of the operational details of running Conductor at scale; with Orkes, they no longer have to worry about things like high availability, cluster management, or security patching.”
The rise of microservices and complexity of software drives Conductor’s popularity
Many businesses have moved to a composable framework of microservices where disparate pieces of software are connected like building blocks, meaning software engineers increasingly need tools to help them abstract, visualize, and execute these complex workflows.
Netflix built Conductor for its microservices-based process flows and later open-sourced the project to benefit the entire industry adapting to this growing complexity.
Thousands of businesses rely on Conductor to orchestrate the microservices workflows for complex applications.
A 2020 O’Reilly survey of 1,500 companies found that 75 percent were using microservices, and only 10 percent of them were long-term users of five years or more.
The vast majority were recent adopters. A January 2022 McKinsey report stressed the importance of adopting microservices as fundamental to agile transformation.
“The adoption curve of Conductor is among the fastest I’ve seen, and to be able to support the original developer team as they commercialize it is an incredible opportunity for us,” said Battery Ventures’ Thakker.
Orkes takes the operational complexities out of Conductor deployments by offering a managed cloud service with added enterprise features so developers can focus on building business logic and architecting complex applications that are easy to operate and troubleshoot. Orkes Cloud is now available for AWS with Google Cloud Platform and Azure on the roadmap.