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3-year-old Rubrik copies data in an instant in the cloud, valued at $1bn

Vishal Krishna
3rd Jul 2017
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The firm raised $180 million recently to take on billion-dollar giants like EMC and Hitachi, among other storage companies.

When four technocrats come together to start up, a technologically profound and disruptive company like Rubrik happens. Bipul Sinha, Arvind Jain, Soham Mazumdar and Arvind Nithrakashyap joined hands to put together a technology that can pull data of an organisation from public and private clouds in an instant, making a CTO's life a lot easier.

The founders have managed to raise $292 million in less than three years of their startup being in operation, thanks to this novel idea that has disrupted the backup and recovery business. Until now, organisations were dependent on expensive software applications sitting on legacy IT for data backup and recovery. And even these could pull out data only in silos and did not offer multiple data copies.

Today, the world of legacy IT and cloud are colliding, and critical data from both avenues need to have backup copies. Rubrik provides these backup copies of key data to CTOs, even if multiple data centres of the organisation fail.

Bipul Sinha, Co-founder of Rubrik.

In the beginning

Bipul knew Arvind Nithrakashyap from his days at Oracle and Arvind Jain from their IIT Delhi days. Soham, the architect at Rubrik, was also at Oracle with Bipul. Soham left Oracle to start a mobile payments company and by then Bipul was part of Lighspeed Ventures. After Soham sold his business to Facebook in 2013, Bipul pulled him out of Facebook to start Rubrik.

“Back in 2013, when I was a partner with Lightspeed Ventures, I was looking for the killer app for massive data stores as used in public clouds,” say Bipul.

He went on to discuss the idea with friends at Google and Facebook and while talking to them he realised that a virtual machine (VM) was effectively a service that could store large data sets that could be backed up on the public cloud. Data is always backed up in Binary Large Object (BLOB) store (data sets like audio, video and images of size and quantity are stored as a 'blob') and used for processes like testing and development or analytics.

That was the confirmation Bipul needed for the Virtual Machine backup becoming a solution for using BLOB stores. “I pitched and discussed it with my Rubrik co-founders and that is how that a germ of an idea became a reality,” says Bipul.

For two years the company spent time in R&D to build the data management system. Since last year some of the top Fortune 500 companies have signed up with Rubrik to change the way they back up their data. The company claims that it was well on its way to a $100-million run rate in revenues by the end of the year.

How does this help the industry?

Say, the company is a large manufacturer that is in the consumer industry. It need not invest millions of dollars on hardware to back up data. It can sign up with Rubrik. which will, over the cloud, provision a file management system from scratch with time efficiencies, and make sure that every block of data has at least three copies. This means the consumer company can pull up data faster and analyse it to understand consumer behaviour. In the previous scenario businesses had to wait a year or more for hardware to be set up and integrated to back up data. Moreover, the company had to invest in tools to pull that data back, which again was expensive. “We can combine data and meta data to create a data recovery framework that can be presented to organisations as a dashboard,” says Ashish Gupta, VP of Engineering at Rubrik.

The data is completely searchable and can be instantly pulled from the cloud. It allows companies to use the public cloud in a secure way to store copies of data. The company also offers an on-premise solution for billion-dollar companies.

“Back up and recovery is a very archaic market. Rubrik had made this a functional data management platform that brings down cost structures for an organisation,” says Vinod Khosla of Khosla Ventures.

The cost saving for a CTO comes to about 30 percent or more while using the Rubrik framework, the founders say. The company is disrupting the businesses of EMC, Hitachi, IBM and Veritas, most companies that offer back up storage. While these companies are building appliances like Rubrik, Bipul and team have been nimble like a startup and have caught a lot of these giants off guard.

Mark Leslie from Leslie Ventures calls Rubrik a company that is creating a category. “The platform allows companies to transition from on-premise to the cloud at an instance. That's why it is category creator,” he says.

According to Markets&Markets the size of the data storage and back-up industry is $75 billion. Bipul and gang have started ruffling some feathers. Now what is left to be seen is what this company can do next.

 

 

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