“Orkes Secures $20M in Series A Funding for Microservices Orchestration Technology”

Back in 2016, Netflix open-sourced Conductor, its microservices orchestration platform, but last December, it announced that it would discontinue maintaining it. Thankfully, for the many companies that rely on it, the creators of Conductor had previously left the company to launch Orkes, a startup that provides an enterprise-grade microservices platform based on the open-source project. As Orkes co-CTO Viren Baraiya told me, the project quickly became popular within Netflix. Currently, Orkes offers Conductor as a fully managed platform on the customer’s cloud of choice, as well as a Conductor-based AI orchestration platform. The founders of Orkes wrote a new playbook for building and operating complex, observable and large-scale applications when they helped create the Conductor open-source project at Netflix.

In the digital age of 2016, streaming giant Netflix made waves when it open-sourced Conductor, a groundbreaking microservices orchestration platform. However, in a sudden turn of events, the company announced last December that it would no longer continue maintaining this innovative tool.

Luckily for the numerous companies that have come to rely on Conductor, its creators had already parted ways from Netflix and launched Orkes, a startup that provides an enterprise-grade microservices platform based on the open-source project. Taking over the reins of Conductor, Orkes has now raised an impressive $20 million Series A round, adding to its initial $9.3 million seed round back in 2022. This latest investment is led by Nexus Venture Partners, with participation from existing investors Battery Ventures and Vertex Ventures US.

The story of Conductor originated in 2015, when the team at Netflix created it to help their development teams keep up with the company’s exponential growth and evolving needs. According to Orkes co-CTO Viren Baraiya, it quickly gained popularity within Netflix. “We soon realized that there was no secret formula exclusive to Netflix. In the spirit of giving back to the community, we decided to open-source the project,” he recounted.

Orkes CEO Jeu George emphasized that what people truly desired was “a cloud layer” that would simplify the complex world of infrastructure and orchestration, so that they could focus on creating successful applications. Today, thousands of companies trust Orkes to manage significant portions of their tech stack, including major players such as Tesla, United Wholesale Mortgage, and Foxtel.

After picking up where Netflix left off and taking charge of Conductor, Orkes extended their reach by creating the Conductor Working Ground. This was further expanded into the Conductor Foundation, an organization that aims to foster collaboration among Conductor users. While George did not rule out the possibility of the project joining a larger foundation in the future, he highlighted the success of Netflix’s approach with the Spinnaker project, which was eventually handed over to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation.

Presently, Orkes offers Conductor as a fully-managed platform on the customer’s preferred cloud, as well as an AI orchestration platform built on Conductor’s foundation.

The company has followed the tried and tested path of other open-source businesses by offering premium enterprise services for a widely popular project. “We have seen momentum from both existing open-source users, who trust our product and want it as a managed service,” explained Orkes’ chief product officer Dilip Lukose.

“Orkes is paving the way for one of the most fascinating categories in software infrastructure. The creators of Orkes wrote a new playbook for developing and operating intricate, observable, and large-scale applications, honing their skills while working on the Conductor open-source project at Netflix. Now, they have transformed this modern approach into a service for the entire enterprise,” said Abhishek Sharma, managing director at Nexus Venture Partners.

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Zara Khan

Zara Khan is a seasoned investigative journalist with a focus on social justice issues. She has won numerous awards for her groundbreaking reporting and has a reputation for fearlessly exposing wrongdoing.

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