Cockroach Labs

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Cockroach Labs
Founded2015; 4 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

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 speed 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.[9] Its collaborations on GitHub earned it Open Source Rookie of the Year, a title awarded by Black Duck Software to open-source projects.[9][10]

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 a proprietary license.[11]

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


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.[13] The result is a database that is described as "almost impossible" to take down.[14][4] Even if multiple servers or an entire datacenter were to go offline, CockroachDB would keep services online.[15]

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 July 24, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d Finley, Klint (June 4, 2015). "Ex-Googlers Get Millions to Help Build the Next Google". Wired. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c Novet, Jordan (June 4, 2015). "Peter Fenton's latest investment is a database startup called Cockroach". VentureBeat. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
  4. ^ a b Babcock, Charles (June 4, 2015). "CockroachDB: Ultimate in Database Survival". Information Week. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
  5. ^ Darfler, Benjamin (August 29, 2014). "CockroachDB: A Scalable, Geo-Replicated, Transactional Datastore". InfoQ. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  6. ^ Metz, Cade (July 10, 2012). "Google Remakes Online Empire with Colossus". Wired. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
  7. ^ Wauters, Robin (July 28, 2009). "Steal! Ben Darnell Leaves Google Reader Team, Joins FriendFeed". TechCrunch. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
  8. ^ Ewbank, Kay. "CockroachDB Released". I Programmer. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  9. ^ a b "Open Source Rookies of the Year". Black Duck Software. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  10. ^ "These are the hottest new open-source projects right now". Wired. January 28, 2015. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  11. ^ "CockroachDB relicensed".
  12. ^ "Cockroach Labs announces $55M Series C to battle industry giants". TechCrunch. Retrieved August 6, 2019.
  13. ^ Finley, Klint (July 22, 2014). "CockroachDB is the resilient cloud software built by ex-Googlers". Wired. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  14. ^ Finley, Klint (July 21, 2014). "Out in the Open: Ex-Googlers Building Cloud Software That's Almost Impossible to Take Down". Wired. Retrieved July 24, 2015.
  15. ^ Noto, Anthony (March 31, 2016). "Cockroach Labs crawls away with $20M from Benchmark, Google Ventures". BizJournals. Retrieved December 13, 2016.

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