Data management startup Rubrik confirms $180M round at a $1.3B valuation

Rubrik, a startup that provides data backup and recovery services for enterprises across both cloud and on-premises environments, has closed a $180 million round of funding that values the company at $1.3 billion. The news confirms a report we ran earlier this week noting that the company was raising between $150 million and $200 million.

IVP (as we noted sources told us might be the case) led the round, with Lightspeed and Greylock also participating.

The funding, co-founder Bipul Sinha told us, comes as the company hit a $100 million run rate in January of this year. “We’ve had significant traction and wanted to double down to capture the market demand that we were experiencing,” he said.

The company last year was valued at $600 million when it raised its last round of $60 million, and while it’s not yet profitable, the cash it has been generating has been enough to fuel its growth til now.

“We have not touched the capital from our last round,” said Sinha. “We have 60 million in the bank right now and we were not looking to raise capital, but we got a very strong preemptive interest across multiple investors and we decided to pull the trigger to double down on engineering and marketing.” 

Rubrik’s services today mainly run using an appliance that an enterprise uses to back up, restore and index data across both on-premises and cloud-based environments — a hybrid that represents the norm for most large organizations. Earlier this week, the company released a new product that runs natively in the cloud, bypassing the need for the appliance. It’s this that spells the future direction for the company, Sinha told TechCrunch: It will be building more cloud-first products going forward in areas that complement what it is already doing in backup and recovery, like security.

The company competes with the likes of Druva, CommVault and EMC, but the reason it has taken off as it has is because of its new and efficient approach to an old problem. “We have woken up a sleepy market,” Sinha said.

Rubrik’s beginnings makes for an interesting and instructive story for people looking at what might be an interesting area to tap for a startup. Sinha, coming from the world of VC, was used to hunting out and looking for gaps and subsequent opportunities in the market.

“I had been looking at the backup and recovery market,” he said, “and realized that it hadn’t been innovated in 10 years. I then looked at public cloud and wondered how will it be protected in the longer term. The two go together: how we can marry them and define a new standard?” From that, he called to consult with a friend, “who is now our CTO, and then two others” — these are Arvind Jain (ex-Google engineer), Soham Mazumdar (an engineer founder who sold Tagtile to Facebook and also is an ex-Googler) and Arvind Nithrakashyap (a storage and distributed system expert who is an alum of Rocket Fuel and Oracle). “We decided the power of the idea how it could look and be delivered” and were strong enough to take this idea to market, he said… and Rubrik was born.

The company also has a useful model to ramp people from prospects to paying customers: Would-be users are given the appliance for free to run competitive testing against other services. Sinha said that the conversion rate on those users has been over 75 percent — a massive win for an enterprise business.

One thing Rubrik does not plan to do much is acquisitions to grow. “This is not our focus,” said Sinha. “We believe in innovation and are still a young company and want to continue the pace of acceleration.”

Today the company employs 330 people, and it is hiring between 70 and 90 people a quarter right now, largely in engineering and product, sales and marketing, and customer support.

“The speed of adoption so far has really taken us by surprise,” he added.