AWS-Backed Kubernetes Company Weaveworks Closes; CEO Blames Failed M&A

'We needed a partner or investor for long term growth. Finally a very promising M&A process with a larger company fell through at the 11the hour,’ says CEO Alexis Richardson.

Amazon Web Services-backed Kubernetes specialist Weaveworks is closing its doors after failing to be acquired in the eleventh hour, according to company CEO Alexis Richardson.

“We needed a partner or investor for long-term growth. Finally a very promising M&A process with a larger company fell through at the 11the hour,” said Richardson on LinkedIn. “And so we decided to shut down.”

Founded in 2014, the London-based cloud native management platform company enables customers to design, build and operate their Kubernetes platform at scale. Weaveworks raised over $60 million in funding over several years.

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During a Series C funding round in 2020, Weaveworks receiving $37 million in financial backing led by AWS, Ericsson, Orange Ventures, Sonae Investment Management and Telekom Investment Pool.

In 2019, AWS and Weaveworks formed a partnership around an open source eksctl CLI tool which supported Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS). It was jointly developed by AWS and Weaveworks.

In July 2023, AWS moved the eksctl project from Weaveworks GitHub organization to a new top level GitHub organization that would be maintained by Weaveworks and AWS moving forward, according to an AWS blog post.

Weaveworks aims to make it fast and simple for developers and DevOps teams to build and operate large containerized applications. The company contributes to several open-source projects including Wave Scope, Weave Cortex and Weave Flux.

Weaveworks CEO On Shut Down

Weaveworks CEO Richardson said the company’s sales growth was “lumpy” in 2023 and “our cash position, consequently volatile.”

After the company was unable to officially find a buyer, Weaveworks decided to close its doors.

“I could say that this should not have happened, but I know that we are not alone in this market. Bigger vessels have gone astray,” said Richardson. “I know that everyone has been so motivated to do their very best for our customers, our open-source community, and each other. You have done well and can be proud.”

The Weaveworks Story ‘Does Not End Here’

Prior to founding Weaveworks in 2014, Richardson worked at Pivotal Software, VMware and Cohesive Networks.

“Our story has been so exciting—from the first days of containers, struggling to be born. The day when someone got Kubernetes working for the first time on Azure,” he said. “Then investment and our work to figure out GitOps for a lot of great enterprise customers. And there have been dire moments too but we figured most of them out together.”

Richardson ended his message with a sense of optimism.

“The story does not end here,” he said. “Our open-source software is used everywhere. I am working with several large organizations to make sure CNCF Flux is in the healthiest state.”

Weaveworks is currently working with a financial trustee who will be helping customers and partners, he said.