AWS, Microsoft, Uber engineering vets raise $20M from top VCs for Seattle startup Temporal

Temporal co-founders Samar Abbas, CTO, and Maxim Fateev, CEO. (Temporal Photo)

A Seattle startup led by cloud computing veterans has quietly attracted big-name users and top venture capital firms as it aims to help improve developer productivity.

Temporal announced a $20 million Series A round led by Sequoia Capital, with participation from Madrona Venture Group, Addition Ventures, and Amplify Partners.

Founded a year ago by former Uber engineers who previously worked at Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, Temporal has built an open-source microservices orchestration platform that can replace ad-hoc systems currently used by developers.

The software works behind-the-scenes to ensure that the code powering a company’s business processes across various microservices remains safe and preserved. The idea is to spend less time maintaining code and reimplementing reliability, and more time focusing on “business logic.”

Temporal is already being used by Snap, Box, Checkr, HashiCorp, Coinbase, and others.

“Today, developers spend too many hours writing and debugging custom code to mitigate potential failures across microservices,” Bogomil Balkansky, partner at Sequoia, said in a statement. “Temporal provides resiliency out of the box, enabling developers to build scalable applications and making it an essential component of any microservice architecture.”

Maxim Fateev, CEO, said adopting Temporal is like going from repeatedly manually saving a document on Microsoft Word, to automatically saving with Google Docs.

“We’re providing a much simpler model for developers,” he said.

Fateev and his co-founder, CTO Samar Abbas, worked together at Uber and helped build an internal open-source orchestration engine called Cadence. The reception to that idea sparked them to launch Temporal.

Bob Muglia, the former CEO of data warehousing company Snowflake — which just had the biggest IPO of 2020 — is an investor in Temporal.

“Temporal is one of the most promising software companies,” Muglia said in a statement. “They have abstracted away an entire class of problems that currently costs developers time and companies money.”

Fateev spent nearly six years at Amazon from 2002 to 2008, landed at Microsoft for two years, then returned to Amazon as a principal engineer. He left in 2013 for Google, then joined Uber in 2015.

Abbas worked at Microsoft for 11 years before joining Amazon in 2010. He returned to Microsoft and also became a principal engineer before joining Uber in 2015.

Fateev said he expects Temporal to have paying customers next year. The company has 15 employees and will hire with the fresh funding. Total funding to date is $25.5 million. Previous investors include Seattle-based Founders’ Co-op; Prime Set Group; and SNR.

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