27. Cockroach Labs

Persephone Kavallines

Founders: Spencer Kimball (CEO), Peter Mattis, Benjamin Darnell
Launched: 2015
Headquarters: New York City
$355 million
Valuation: $2 billion
Key technologies:
Cloud computing
Enterprise Tech
Previous appearances on Disruptor 50 List: 0

Last September, the widespread adoption of Snowflake's data analysis technology resulted in the biggest software IPO ever to hit public market. Behind a wall of technology like Snowflake's is a company like Cockroach Labs, built to ensure that real-time data, stored in the cloud, is accurate across all enterprise platforms that utilize its software. Cockroach Labs set out to rewrite the database using a cloud-native, open source environment, helping companies create apps that can scale as needs change.

The New York City-based company's management systems have proven essential to helping businesses move their capabilities online quicker throughout the pandemic. CockroachDB, the company's proprietary, cloud-native database was designed to help Cockroach Labs' compete in a cloud world dominated by the likes of Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and big software vendors like Oracle and Salesforce, as well as a crowded field of other database start-ups, some of which also ranked to this year's CNBC Disruptor 50 list.

Founded by Google veterans, the resilience of Cockroach Labs' code gives the company its namesake. The company counts Equifax and NBC Universal parent company Comcast among its customers. By storing multiple copies of their data in the cloud, Cockroach Labs is able to provide uninterrupted access to data in multiple locations, re-routing traffic amid any kind of regional outage.

Earlier this year, Altimeter Capital led a $160 million funding round in Cockroach Labs alongside Greenoaks Capital and Lone Pine Capital. That financing made the company a unicorn, valued at $2 billion. According to PitchBook, Cockroach was previously valued at $736 million following its previous fundraising round last May. Additional investors in the company include Sequoia Capital, Tiger Global Management, Bill Gurley's Benchmark Capital and GV, the venture capital arm of Google-parent Alphabet.

Cockroach Labs added chief product officer Nate Stewart to its board in July of last year, the first board seat change in the company's history and first board member who is not a founder or investor in the company. In September, Cockroach Labs also joined The Board Challenge as a charter member — a designation given for already having one Black director — helping support a pledge among companies to add a Black director within one year.

Contributed by Riley de León

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