Careers at MemSQL


MemSQL’s mission is to enable every company to be a real-time enterprise.


Eric Frenkiel and Nikita Shamgunov met at Facebook when both were hired in 2010 as engineers, and became quick friends. They realized that the company had solved some significant big data problems, the most important being a slow analytics process. Facebook speeded it up by using a lot of DRAM – putting data in memory. Frenkiel and Shamgunov were inspired by its success in this regard.

The two decided to work on a scalable version of the solution, a database that could be used by enterprises that also had intense analysis needs. Shamgunov’s expertise at building databases made the process simpler. Their priority was designing a system that could work quickly but also had an easy-to-use interface. Their solution was to build an in-memory relational database.

The engineers spent months on the project then applied to YCombinator, a renowned start-up incubator, to further develop it. They got accepted, becoming one of the few enterprise start-ups to join the outfit, as it tends to be more consumer-oriented. The two then made the difficult decision to leave Facebook as the program would be starting that winter.

The engineers made one of their main goals building a network of investors that would support the company. It got off to a faster start than expected – the Monday after Frenkiel left Facebook he and Shamgunov met with their first investor, and walked out of the room with a $200,000 check. By the time Y Combinator was over, they had raised $2.1 million in a seed round.

With the funds they needed, the two spent months building the database, launching the first iteration, called MemSQL, in June 2012. It was free but not widely publicized; still, within six months there were 10,000 developers using it. Over time the two released a new, paid version and worked on gaining more funding. It was a smashing success - in 2013 they raised $40 million in six months. At that time they had more than a dozen customers. MemSQL has since focused on targeting companies in the Fortune 500 that need high performance solutions for their data issues.

Benefits at MemSQL

Business model of MemSQL

Customer Segments

MemSQL has a niche market business model, catering to a specialized customer segment. The company’s target audience is organizations whose operations involve high-volume online transactions.

It currently focuses on the following specific industries: AdTech, Financial Services, High Technology, Retail and Commerce, Public Sector, Energy, and Media and Communications.

Value Proposition

MemSQL offers three primary value propositions: convenience, cost reduction, and accessibility.

The company’s database allows users to absorb data streams, process transactions, and conduct analytics in a single database, simultaneously. This enables real-time retrieval of insights, saving time.

The database utilizes a distributed computing model, making it simpler to set up, maintain, and scale. This results in the reduction of initial and ongoing maintenance costs.

Finally, MemSQL offers a free Community Edition of the database in addition to the paid Enterprise Edition. This makes the advantages offered by the system accessible to parties beyond organizations, such as developers.


MemSQL’s main channel is the Internet (its main website and social media pages). It also communicates with customers via e-mail, its phone line, and its attendance at various in-person events (annual conferences, industry trade shows, and meetups).

Customer Relationships

MemSQL’s customer relationship is primarily of a self-service, automated nature. Customers utilize the service through the main platform while having limited interaction with employees. That said, there is also a personal assistance component - users of the Enterprise Edition have access to 24/7 support via phone and e-mail.

Key Activities

MemSQL’s key activities focus on platform management. The company’s business model entails maintaining its software platform for customers.

Key Partners

MemSQL maintains the MemSQL Partner Program, which enables resellers to expand their business to include the company’s products. MemSQL provides infrastructure, tools, and general support to its partners to help them strengthen their market position. The company’s current partners are as follows:

  • Tableau
  • Zoomdata
  • Looker
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Mesosphere
  • MicroStrategy

Key Resources

MemSQL’s primary resource is its intellectual property, the proprietary software platform.

It also depends on its human resources to ensure user satisfaction, utilizing a large service staff to provide 24/7 customer support.

Lastly, as a relatively new start-up it has relied heavily on funding from investors, raising $45 million from 23 investors as of September 2014.

Cost Structure

MemSQL has a value-driven structure, emphasizing quality and highly personalized service. The company’s top cost driver is a fixed cost, sales and marketing, since as a relatively new business it needs to get the word out. Other major costs include research and development expenses (fixed) and customer support expenses (fixed).

Revenue Streams

MemSQL has one revenue stream: sales of its product. The company does not offer fixed prices; rather, pricing is tailored to each customer based on individual needs. Specifically, customers pay based on amount of capacity used by the database.

Our team

Eric Frenkiel,
Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer

info: Eric is a graduate of Stanford University's School of Engineering. Prior to starting MemSQL he worked at Facebook in the area of partnership development. He has worked in various engineering capacities at consumer and enterprise startups.

Nikita Shamgunov,
Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer

info: Nikita holds a Bachelor’s, Master’s, and doctorate in Computer Science. Prior to starting MemSQL he worked at Facebook in the area of core infrastructure systems and as a senior database engineer at Microsoft SQL Server.

Gary Orenstein,
Chief Marketing Officer

info: Gary earned a Bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and an MBA from The Wharton School. Prior to joining MemSQL he was the CMO at Fusion. He leads marketing across marketing strategy, growth, communications, and customer engagement.

Adam Prout,
SVP, Engineering and Chief Architect

info: Adam holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo. Prior to joining MemSQL he worked as a database engineer at Microsoft SQL Server. He oversees product architecture and development.