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Rubrik for Sale?

Cloud data protection startup Rubrik may be seeking a buyer for its business, according to The Information. However, CEO Bipul Sinha denied the report shortly after the story was published.

Still, the chatter offers another reality check for cloud-based backup and disaster recovery (BDR), business continuity and data protection markets — which are highly fragmented and poised for potential consolidation, ChannelE2E believes.

Rubrik’s investors include former Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers. Also, former Cisco Channel Chief Wendy Bahr joined the company as chief commercial officer in May 2019. Bahr leads the company’s MSP, Global System Integrator and Channel Partners, Hardware and Software Alliances, Inside Sales and Professional Services teams.

Although Rubrik itself is considered a market disrupter, the company faces potential competition from a range of entrenched rivals and upstarts — including such names as Acronis, CohesityDattoDruva, and Veeam. Also, Commvault and Veritas have been striving to modernize their data protection platforms for the multi-cloud, mobile and ransomware mitigation eras.

Rubrik earlier this year raised $261 million in Series E funding, bringing the company’s valuation to $3.3 billion, according to reports at the time. The Series E investors included Bain Capital Ventures, Lightspeed Ventures, Greylock Partners, Khosla Ventures and IVP.

Rubrik: Next Potential Steps?

A Series E raise typically indicates a “late stage” startup — which often means a company will next pursue an IPO (initial public offering); strategic asset sale to a technology business; or some type of sale to private equity ownership. Still, the IPO route may be a bit risky considering the track record of some recent offerings.

In a comment to The Information, Sinha firmly denied that he had contacted anyone about a potential sale. Still, he didn’t mention whether Rubrik’s investors or board members potentially made some outreach.

Meanwhile, venture capitalists and private equity firms own a lengthy list of backup and disaster recovery companies — including investments in Acronis, Datto, OwnBackup and Veeam. Recent rumors suggest PE firms could also be poking around Carbonite for a potential buyout.

If Rubrik is shopping itself to enterprise IT technology companies, the likely shortlist of outreach potentially includes Cisco Systems, Dell Technologies and HP Enterprise, ChannelE2E believes. The Information mentioned Cisco, IBM, NetApp, Google and Microsoft as potential suitors.

But is Rubrik actually seeking a buyer for its business? Alas, ChannelE2E has not independently confirmed The Information’s report.

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