Cockroach Labs

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Cockroach Labs, Inc.
Founded2015; 5 years ago (2015)
FounderSpencer Kimball, Peter Mattis, Ben Darnell
HeadquartersNew York City
Key people
Spencer Kimball (CEO)
Peter Mattis (VP of Engineering)
Ben Darnell (CTO)
Nate Stewart (Chief Product Officer)
Lindsay Grenawalt (Chief People Officer)
Servicescommercial database management systems

Cockroach Labs is a computer software company that develops commercial database management systems.[1] It is best known for CockroachDB, which has been compared to Google Spanner.[2] CockroachDB is a project that is designed to store copies of data in multiple locations in order to deliver speedy access.[3][4] It is described as a scalable, consistently-replicated, transactional datastore.[5]


Cockroach Labs was founded in 2015 by ex-Google employees Spencer Kimball, Peter Mattis, and Ben Darnell. Prior to Cockroach Labs, Kimball and Mattis were key members of the Google File System team[6] while Darnell was a key member of the Google Reader team.[7] While at Google, all three had previously used Bigtable and were acquainted with its successor, Spanner.[2] After leaving Google, they wanted to design and build something similar for companies outside of Google. By June 2015, the company had nine CockroachDB engineers.[3]

Spencer Kimball wrote the first iteration of the design in January 2014, and began the open-source project on GitHub in February 2014, allowing outside access and contributions.[8] It attracted a community of experienced contributors, with the co-founders actively supporting the project with conferences, networking and meet-ups. Its collaborations on GitHub earned it Open Source Rookie of the Year, a title awarded by Black Duck Software to open-source projects.[9]

In June 2015, the company closed $6.25 million in funding from Benchmark, Sequoia, Google Ventures, and FirstMark Capital.[2] Benchmark's general partner Peter Fenton was named to the company's board of directors.[3] Additional investors included Hortonworks chief executive Rob Bearden, CoreOS CEO Alex Polvi, and Cloudera co-founder Jeff Hammerbacher.[1]

In June 2019, Cockroach Labs announced that CockroachDB would change its license from the free software license Apache License 2.0 to their own proprietary license, known as the Business Source License (BSL), which forbids "offer[ing] a commercial version of CockroachDB as a service without buying a license", while remaining free for community use.[10][11]

Cockroach Labs raised $55 million in a Series C round in August 2019, led by Altimeter Capital.[12]

Corporate affairs[edit]


Cockroach Labs is managed by CEO and Co-Founder Spencer Kimball. Other key executives are:[13]

  • Peter Mattis, CTO, Co-Founder
  • Benjamin Darnell, Chief Architect, Co-Founder
  • Jeff Miller, Chief Revenue Officer
  • Nate Stewart, Chief Product Officer
  • Lindsay Grenawalt, Chief People Officer


The database is scalable, in that a single instance can scale from a single laptop to thousands of servers.[2]

CockroachDB is designed to run in the cloud and be resilient to failures.[14] The result is a database that is described as "almost impossible" to take down.[15][4] Even if multiple servers or an entire datacenter were to go offline, CockroachDB would keep services online.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Ovide, Shira (June 4, 2015). "CockroachDB Scampers Off With $6.3 Million to Tackle Database Shortcomings". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 22, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d Finley, Klint (June 4, 2015). "Ex-Googlers Get Millions to Help You Build the Next Google". Wired. Retrieved February 22, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c Novet, Jordan (June 4, 2015). "Peter Fenton's latest investment is a database startup called Cockroach". VentureBeat. Retrieved February 22, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Babcock, Charles (June 4, 2015). "CockroachDB: Ultimate in Database Survival". InformationWeek. Retrieved February 22, 2020.
  5. ^ Darfler, Benjamin (August 29, 2014). "CockroachDB: A Scalable, Geo-Replicated, Transactional Datastore". InfoQ. Retrieved February 22, 2020.
  6. ^ Metz, Cade (July 10, 2012). "Google Remakes Online Empire with 'Colossus'". Wired. Retrieved February 22, 2020.
  7. ^ Wauters, Robin (July 28, 2009). "Steal! Ben Darnell Leaves Google Reader Team, Joins FriendFeed". TechCrunch. Retrieved February 22, 2020.
  8. ^ Ewbank, Kay (June 9, 2015). "CockroachDB Released". I Programmer. Retrieved February 22, 2020.
  9. ^ Finleey, Klint (January 28, 2015). "These are the hottest new open-source projects right now". Wired. Retrieved February 22, 2020.
  10. ^ Mattis, Peter; Darnell, Ben; Kimball, Spencer (June 4, 2019). "Why We're Relicensing CockroachDB". Retrieved February 22, 2020.
  11. ^ "CockroachDB Community License". Cockroach Labs. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  12. ^ Miller, Ron (August 6, 2019). "Cockroach Labs announces $55M Series C to battle industry giants". TechCrunch. Retrieved February 22, 2020.
  13. ^ "Cockroach Labs is the company behind CockroachDB". Cockroach Labs. Retrieved February 22, 2020.
  14. ^ Finley, Klint (July 22, 2014). "CockroachDB is the resilient cloud software built by ex-Googlers". Wired. Archived from the original on May 14, 2015. Retrieved February 22, 2020.
  15. ^ Finley, Klint (July 21, 2014). "Out in the Open: Ex-Googlers Building Cloud Software That's Almost Impossible to Take Down". Wired. Retrieved February 22, 2020.
  16. ^ Noto, Anthony (March 31, 2016). "Cockroach Labs crawls away with $20M from Benchmark, Google Ventures". BizJournals. Retrieved February 20, 2020.

External links[edit]