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Rubrik IPO to grow platform, reach

Rubrik goes public, becoming the first data backup vendor to do so in years. It plans to expand its security cloud software and customer base with an influx of funding.

Rubrik, a data backup security vendor, filed S-1 paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this month for a proposed initial public offering. Today, the company began trading its 23,500,000 shares of Class A common stock on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol RBRK at a public offering price of $32 per share. The offering is expected to close April 29.

Outlined in its IPO filing, Rubrik's growth strategy includes expanding its customer base, pursuing acquisitions and growing its partner ecosystem. The ability to execute on that strategy necessitated the IPO, according to Arvind Nithrakashyap, co-founder and CTO of Rubrik.

"We felt we were at the right place for our growth and maturity and felt like this was the right time," he said in an interview with TechTarget Editorial.

Rubrik has long faced rumors of going public and follows successful IPOs from Astera Labs and Reddit last month. But the decision to launch an IPO now likely comes from increased competitive pressure in a contracting data protection market, according to Christophe Bertrand, an analyst at TechTarget's Enterprise Strategy Group.

"It was clear, strategically, Rubrik had to do something," Bertrand said. "With the Cohesity-Veritas acquisition, that changes the game. As the market seems to be warming up, they felt it was a good time to do this."

Security for sale

Rubrik's sole product is Rubrik Security Cloud (RSC), an enterprise data backup and protection platform for on-premises, cloud and SaaS application data.

The company, founded in 2014, pivoted its branding from data backup and disaster recovery to cybersecurity. RSC not only provides functionality for protecting enterprise IT from data loss, but also includes capabilities aimed at ransomware and cyberattack detection.

More recently, it made noticeable investments in cybersecurity. In August, Rubrik acquired Laminar Security, a cloud security company, to add new data visibility features to its platform. Last month, it launched a partnership with security vendor CrowdStrike, providing integrations to the vendor's threat detection platform.

The company has also expanded into generative AI with Ruby, a chatbot for RSC that's powered by Microsoft's Azure OpenAI Service.

Additional acquisitions and partnerships could help fill in additional capabilities as Rubrik's platform will continue to evolve, according to Anneka Gupta, chief product officer at Rubrik, in an interview with TechTarget Editorial.

Calling [themselves] security is a bit of a stretch.
Christophe BertrandAnalyst, Enterprise Strategy Group

"We're always going to look at what is the best strategy to bring the capabilities to market that our customers need," she said. "In many cases that's building stuff ourselves. Sometimes it's partnering because we don't necessarily need to do everything, but we need to do the things that are core to cyber resilience."

Regardless of the label, cyber resilience is still a different discipline from data backup, Bertrand said. Different tools and capabilities are required for comprehensive cybersecurity against ransomware or other attacks compared with the data protection focus Rubrik provides.

"They are a legitimate cyber-resilience player since the acquisition of Laminar," Bertrand said. "Calling [themselves] security is a bit of a stretch."

Cost of business

Industry analysts agreed that the Rubrik IPO was likely needed to get another infusion of cash into the company.

According to the S-1 filing, Rubrik had a net loss of $277.7 million in fiscal year 2023 and another loss of $354.2 million in fiscal year 2024, which ended Jan. 31.

The IPO should help fill in those losses and support future acquisitions, according to Krista Macomber, an analyst at Futurum Group.

"Like any competitor in this space, they have had to spend to continue that evolution and broaden out into those use cases," Macomber said. She added that Rubrik is the first data backup company to file an IPO in years, as similarly positioned companies such as Zerto or Datto were acquired.

The competitive landscape in the backup market is heating up, she said, as Cohesity's planned purchase of Veritas will create a massive new rival alongside Commvault, Rubrik's other longstanding competitor. Rubrik also lists Veeam, IBM and Dell as direct competitors in its listing.

Jerome Wendt, founder, CEO and analyst at Data Center Intelligence Group, said the Cohesity-Veritas consolidation could be a portent of further consolidation in the backup space.

A larger company such as Microsoft, which has invested in both Rubrik and Commvault, could consider acquisitions of either company down the line, Wendt said. But the diversity of environments that Rubrik supports is attractive to customers and helps keep the offering portfolio flexible.

"I just think the innovation comes from the smaller companies," he said. "Third-party protection providers will remain and still have interested [customers]."

This story was updated from an original report published April 2, 2024.

Tim McCarthy is a TechTarget Editorial news writer covering cloud and data storage news.

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