Temporal is a unicorn: Developer productivity startup lands $103M at $1.5B valuation

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

The news: Temporal, a Seattle startup that helps companies write and run cloud applications, has reached unicorn status. The 55-person company just raised $103 million in a round that didn’t even require a pitch deck. Temporal is now valued at $1.5 billion, just three years after it launched. Total funding is more than $120 million.

The details: As companies shift more and more of their infrastructure to the cloud, the complexity of maintaining code becomes harder, particularly with the use of microservices. That’s where Temporal comes in, offering an open-source microservices orchestration platform that replaces ad-hoc systems. The idea is to give developers more time to code, versus spending time on scalability and reliability.

The backstory: Co-founders Maxim Fateev and Samar Abbas previously 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.

The chops: Fateev, CEO, 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, CTO, 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.

The backers: Index Ventures led the Series B round, which included participation from existing investors Sequoia Capital, Amplify Partners, Madrona Venture Group and Addition Ventures. Fateev called Index the leading venture firm backing open source companies.

Last word: Temporal is riding tailwinds from the pandemic, which supercharged cloud adoption as more companies and consumers used digital services. The company said it is seeing 25-to-50% month-over-month growth in adoption. Snap, Netflix, Instacart, Qualtrics, and others are using Temporal, which now joins an elite unicorn group of Seattle companies that have eclipsed the $1 billion valuation.

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