TechCrunch | July 11, 2017

Buoyant raises $10.5M Series A round as it looks to bring service meshes to the masses

Buoyant, a company founded by former Twitter infrastructure engineers William Morgan and Oliver Gould, today announced that it has raised a $10.5 million Series A round. This round was led by Benchmark Capital, with participation from #Angels, a female-led group of current and former Twitter executives, and previous investors A Capital Ventures, Data Collective, Fuel Capital, SV Angel and the Webb Investment Network. Benchmark’s Peter Fenton will join Buoyant’s board of directors (only a few months after he stepped down from Twitter’s board).

Buoyant isn’t a household name yet, but it’s the company behind the open source Linkerd project, which became part of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation at the beginning of this year. Linkerd is maybe the most popular of a new crop of infrastructure tools that fall under the “service mesh” heading. The idea behind service meshes is to provide an infrastructure layer that allows the different services that make up modern applications to talk to each other. A complex application that runs on top of a container orchestrator like Kubernetes, for example, may be composed of hundreds of individual services. Those services have to be able to talk to each other (and find each other) in a network that is anything but static. A service mesh like Linkerd or Istio, the recently announced Google/Lyft/IBM collaboration (which can now actually work together with Linkerd), combines load balancing with dynamic routing to ensure that these services can talk to each other.

Current Linkerd users include the likes of Ticketmaster, Apprenda, NextVR, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and Monzo (a startup bank in the U.K.).