Cockroach Labs, the New York-based developer of the open source distributed database project CockroachDB, today announced that it’s closed a $55 million, oversubscribed series C round co-led by Altimeter Capital, Tiger Global, and GV (formerly Google Ventures). The raise, which saw participation from existing investors Benchmark, Index Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, FirstMark Capital, and Work-Bench, brings the company’s total capital raised to $108.5 million and comes after a year in which revenue doubled quarter-over-quarter.
Cockroach says the proceeds will be put toward customer acquisition and expanding its 117-person workforce across four offices in the U.S. and Europe, with an emphasis on the engineering and developer side.
“As organizations transition to the cloud, they eventually find that legacy relational databases are difficult to scale, inflexible to deploy, and fail to take full advantage of modern cloud capabilities,” said CEO Spencer Kimball, a former Square and Google engineer who cofounded Cockroach with fellow Google veterans CTO Peter Mattis and chief architect Ben Darnell in 2015. “This funding will accelerate our growth within and well beyond the database space, paving the way for CockroachDB to become the preferred platform for global enterprises.”
Cockroach describes CockroachDB as a “geo-distributed” SQL database with horizontal scalability designed to ensure continuity in case of an outage. It’s able to localize data within multiple zones by replicating and distributing it, delivering reads and writes as low as 2 milliseconds and 4 milliseconds, respectively. CockroachDB intelligently routes traffic to prevent downtime in the event of machine failures or maintenance activities, and it can perform rolling upgrades of databases, operating systems, and machines and run schema changes in the background to keep apps online as new features roll out.
“We are offering what is going to become the new standard — ‘multi-active availability,'” wrote Kimball in a previous email to VentureBeat. “It means multiple servers have replicas of your data, and there are new protections in place to ensure that in the event of failover, applications built on top of the database will not experience potentially damaging inconsistencies.”
In this respect, Cockroach isn’t unlike Google CloudSpanner, Google’s distributed relational database service running on Google Cloud. (Not coincidentally, CoackroachDB was modeled after the whitepaper that led to the Spanner database’s development.) But platform agnosticism sets the former apart — it plays nicely with public clouds like Microsoft’s Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud Platform in a range of configurations and pairs with orchestration tools including Mesosphere DC/OS and Kubernetes to enable task automation. Moreover, Cockroach claims that CockroachDB outperforms leading databases like Amazon Aurora, which it beat by a factor of 10 on the TPC-C scalability benchmark.
Cockroach launched CockroachDB 1.0 just over two years ago, shortly after its series B raise. And this year, it took the wraps off of a fully managed service with features like automatic hardware provisioning, setup, configuration, and rolling upgrades, plus daily backups and hourly incremental backups. (Cockroach offers a separate enterprise plan that’s nearly identical to the managed service, save omitted support for managed clusters.)
Alex Plugaru, the cofounder and CTO of ecommerce help desk platform provider Gorgias, was particularly enthused over Cockroach’s performance on Kubernetes clusters. “Kubernetes and CockroachDB are made for each other,” he wrote in a statement. “Now we can run everything on Kubernetes, including our database, like we’ve always wanted. Persistent and globally distributed Kubernetes apps are here and they work.”
Another customer — Beijing-based tech giant Baidu — processed two billion inserts a day using CockroachDB during early testing. Now, it processes hundreds of thousands of queries per second and serves tens of terabytes of data, as do other big-name Cockroach customers like Bose, Comcast, MetroNOM, Heroic Labs, Mux, Elliot, Gorgias, WeWork, Kindred, Tierion, Rubrik, Lush, Mesosphere, and Nubank.
“We see a massive opportunity for Cockroach Labs to help all businesses scale globally, and we believe the company is a category leader,” said Altimeter Capital partner Kevin Wang in a statement. “Cockroach Labs’ immense and rapid growth, coupled with its last several product releases, has shown it has the authority to stand up against behemoths like AWS and Oracle. We’re excited to partner with Spencer and the world-class team at Cockroach Labs for this next stage of growth.”
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