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Announcing our Investment in Cockroach Labs

Today we’re excited to announce that Work-Bench is joining Index Ventures, Benchmark, Google Ventures, FirstMark Capital, and other great investors to back Cockroach Labs in their Series A-1 round.

Cockroach Labs is a case in point that you don’t need to go to the Valley to find ambitious technical teams disrupting the enterprise software stack, and we’re excited to partner with a highly capable team ready to infest the enterprise database market.

From back office to front end transactional systems, major Wall Street banks are rethinking their data architecture to prepare for the same level of scale and flexibility espoused by the web-scale giants. The power of cloud computing and distributed infrastructure has reverberated through the entire IT stack. Core IT functions such as monitoring, security, and messaging have been re-written from the ground up to meet unique new demands. However, the transactional database powering core enterprise systems and application remains a sleepy dormant that is ripe for disruption.

Enter Cockroach Labs. Not only is the team announcing their Series A-1 funding today, but they are also launching CockroachDB Beta — a new type of database architecture, purpose built for distributed, modern web infrastructure — after months of intensive development and work. Based off of Google’s internal globally distributed database Spanner, CockroachDB is an open-source solution that meets all the requirements for an enterprise making the digital transformation by scaling to thousands or millions of users, supporting everywhere, anytime operations, and delivering 24/7 reliability. By bringing the power of Google’s database architecture to the masses, we believe CockroachDB will one day replace databases in use across the enterprise with a single solution that meets current and future requirements.

Most of Cockroach Labs’ 20+ person team come from deep engineering backgrounds and prominent webscale companies such Google, Square, Dropbox, and others. Two of Cockroach Labs’ co-founders, Spencer Kimball and Peter Mattis, were college roommates at UC Berkeley, and are OG open source developers who worked together on a widely successful open source image editor named GIMP. They met their third co-founder Ben Darnell while at Google together.

It’s rare to see a founding team with such a rich history, and it has been a pleasure to watch them grow in our community and workspace at Work-Bench. Their work ethic and team culture is exemplary and has set the bar for how we size up team dynamic for new investments. From our checks with our corporate network, startups, and subject matter experts alike, everyone agrees that this is an extremely difficult problem to solve, but that Cockroach Labs’ team, approach, and architecture seems poised to solve it.

It’s certainly a long road ahead as CockroachDB makes a run for Oracle’s most prized business, but today’s beta release is the first of many steps in this direction. We’re so excited to be along for the ride with Spencer, Peter, and Ben, and to support them and the team however we can.

Share the news on Twitter, and if you’re interested in learning more…

Originally published at on March 30, 2016.



Work-Bench is an enterprise technology VC fund in NYC. We support early go-to-market enterprise startups with community, workspace, and corporate engagement. Sign up to get our digest of top content & industry news weekly:

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Jonathan Lehr

Jonathan Lehr

All enterprise tech, all the time || VC @Work_Bench, Founder of @NYETM, and @KauffmanFellows Class 19 || I also tweet (a lot) about the @MiamiHEAT