Orkes raises $20M to scale distributed systems with AI

Orkes, a company that provides a fast and easy way to scale distributed systems, has secured $20 million in a funding round led by Nexus Venture Partners. The company, which launched in 2022 and raised $9.3 million in its previous round, has grown rapidly by offering a suite of industry-first AI tools and winning big customers like United Wholesale Mortgage, Foxtel, and Collective.

Orkes is the main contributor to the open-source Conductor project, which is used by thousands of organizations and Fortune 100 companies, such as Atlassian, Tesla, Oracle, American Express, GE Healthcare, and the UK Ministry of Justice. Conductor is a platform that enables developers to build and manage complex applications with generative AI-powered workflows, while ensuring high performance, reliability, and security.

Orkes plans to use the new funding to expand its offerings, such as its new AI orchestration platform, and to grow the Conductor community. Nexus Managing Director Abhishek Sharma will join the board of Orkes as part of the deal.

“Orkes Conductor is more important than ever as businesses build applications that require fine-grained workflows, rely on numerous disparate services and APIs, and must now leverage AI for increased productivity and efficiency,” said Jeu George, CEO and co-founder of Orkes.

“Revenue has tripled in the past year, with even faster logo growth; our average deal size is in the six figures. Our customers are investing heavily in Orkes across AWS, GCP and Azure deployments as we enable them to have their data and compute residing on their cloud footprint or fully hosted by Orkes on the cloud of their choice.”

“Orkes is leading the creation of one of the most interesting categories in software infrastructure. 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. Now, they’ve operationalized this modern approach to application building for the entire enterprise,” said Abhishek Sharma, managing director at Nexus Venture Partners.

“Not only is Orkes loved by developers, but the company’s explosive growth in marquee enterprise customers and revenue over the past year is proof positive of its business impact.”

Open-Source Roots at Netflix

Orkes co-CTO Viren Baraiya created the Conductor open-source microservices and workflow orchestration engine, along with co-CTO Boney Sekh and CEO Jeu George, while at Netflix to scale the hyper growth and resulting complexity of its code base. In 2021, the group teamed up with former Microsoft and Amazon product leader Dilip Lukose to found Orkes as an enterprise-grade managed service for engineering teams looking to build their applications on Conductor.

Netflix has since stepped back from maintenance of the open-source Conductor project, and Orkes now owns the project with a new fork that they maintain and govern in close collaboration with the community.

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