UPDATED 11:00 EDT / MAY 31 2023


Cortex Applications raises $35M to bring visibility into microservices quality

Cortex Applications Inc., the creator of an internal developer portal that’s used by organizations to gain visibility into their software and services, said today it has raised $35 million in a new round of funding.

The Series B round was led by Institutional Venture Partners LLC and saw participation from a host of others, including Sequoia Capital, Tiger Global and YCombinator. The startup said the funds from today’s round will enable it to deepen both integrations and automation in its platform, as it sets out to build the world’s most connected and intuitive internal developer portal, or IDP.

Cortex’s IDP gives developers and engineers visibility into the microservices, or components, of their applications and software, enabling them to check on both their status and quality. As a microservices platform, it provides features such as incident response through a single pane of glass to the architecture, enabling teams to align and adopt best practices across the board.

Cortex is available in the cloud or on-premises, but no matter what flavor teams choose, it provides a straightforward setup with an initial services onboarding flow. Whatever tools are being onboarded, be it Kubernetes or an application monitoring tool, its service data will be mapped alongside the user’s integration data. Once that’s done, Cortex creates individual scorecards for each service, grading its quality across a plethora of different verticals, such as production readiness, security adherence and risk profile.

In a May 2022 interview (below) on theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio, Cortex co-founder and Chief Executive Anish Dhar (pictured, left) explained how different companies and individuals have very different definitions of what “quality” of services actually means. As such, he said, Cortex strives to represent quality in an objective way.

“I think what ends up happening in most engineering organizations is that quality lives in peoples’ heads,” Dhar said. “The engineers who write the services are often the ones who understand all the intricacies with them. Quality really comes down to being able to objectively codify your best practices in some way.”

Expanding on this idea, Cortex’s other co-founder, Chief Technology Officer Ganesh Datta (right), said companies exist in various stages of their digital modernization journeys, so the issue of quality becomes very subjective. As such, Cortex attempts to provide a more objective framework for users to define quality themselves.

“Quality can mean a lot of things, and so our perspective is how do we give you the tools to say as an organization, ‘Here’s what quality means to us,’” Datta explained.

Just as subjective as service quality is people’s preference for microservices tooling, but Cortex says it has made strong progress in the year since its co-founders appeared on theCUBE. Over the last 12 months, it has achieved 400% revenue growth, with new deployments in enterprises such as Sportradar AG, Docker Inc., TripAdvisor Inc. Unity Software Inc. and Grammarly Inc.

Scott Dunbar, Sportradar’s senior vice president of engineering enablement, said his company began using Cortex to better align and document its services, only to quickly realize the platform’s full potential.

“We now have org-wide initiatives; to create a ‘golden path’ for developers, and to ensure healthy ‘golden metrics’ for our services,” he said. “Cortex facilitates both in a way that just wasn’t possible before, allowing us to define standards for service quality, actively steer developers toward improvement, and bootstrap new projects.”

Here’s Dhar and Dhatta’s full interview from theCUBE:

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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