Rubrik has achieved half a billion in annual recurring revenues and gained a trophy board member, Mark McLaughlin, Qualcomm chairman. Is that an IPO we’re smelling?
Rubrik is notable not least because it has raised an astonishing $552 million in funding since it was founded in 2014, but because it started out doing data protection and now cybersecurity is its main product focus.
It’s now marketing a security cloud service with three pillars: data resilience, data observability, and data remediation. In one way the ransomware plague has presented all data protection and security suppliers with a growing market opportunity, which Rubrik has grasped with both hands.
We should understand, Rubrik claims, that it is a high-growth business and it is responding to business’s cybersecurity needs better than any other supplier.
Incoming board member Mark McLaughlin mentions these points in a blog on Rubrik’s website.
He has an impressive CV, going to West Point and then becoming a Cobra helicopter pilot at Fort Rucker, Alabama, where he was involved in a crash that severely damaged his back. It took months to recover. After that, with flying no longer an option, he went to law school and then became a lawyer for Cooley Godward in 1994, but left a year later as a client recruited him for an in-house position. That was as general counsel of Caere Corp, an OCR software company.
McLaughlin became VP for Business Development at Gemplus in 1997, then VP of sales and business development for internet payment company Signio, which was bought by Verisign in 1999. McLaughlin was involved in the acquisition and became an EVP at Verisign in 2000, then president and COO, then CEO, retaining the other titles, in 2009. This was followed by a risk-taking jump into network security business startup Palo Alto Networks as its chairman, president and CEO in 2011.
That year he was also appointed to the US National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee and has served on it ever since.
Palo Alto Networks filed for and ran an IPO in 2012, raising $260 million with its shares jumping 27 percent above their opening price. McLaughlin stayed as CEO until 2018 when he went upstairs to become vice chairman, leaving that role in December last year. He had also become chairman of wireless semiconductor supplier Qualcomm in 2019 and a board member at Snorkel AI in January 2022.
In his Rubrik blog, entitled “Honored to be on the Rubrik Journey,” McLaughlin writes: “The continued rise of the importance of cyber, and the continued rise in the sophistication of the attacker will be addressed over time by continuous innovation, collaboration, and the rise of cyber security data platforms. Rubrik steps into that need with its data security platform focused on ransomware, one of the scourges of our digital age.
“When you take on big problems with oversized consequences on every organization in the world, it creates the opportunity for significant value creation for customers and fast growth. Rubrik is experiencing tremendous demand, and is continuing to grow its customer base. This growth in new customer acquisition, as well as continued innovation and value creation for customers, is most evident in Rubrik’s recently announced $500 million in annual recurring revenue; and achieving a net dollar retention rate of greater than 140 percent.
“It is the combination of scale and velocity of growth that creates truly unique companies and significant value creation.”
There’s definitely a financial aroma of value creation in the air here. Can you smell it? It’s the hint of IPO, that most beguiling perfume for VCs. Backup is old hat. Nobody is interested in a backup company’s IPO; are you listening, Cohesity? But a data security company, with an answer to the biggest cybersecurity scourge on the planet? We think Rubrik co-founder and CEO Bipul Sinha believes he has an IPO in his grasp.
And he’s recruited a security-savvy board member with IPO experience who can talk to bankers and investors and other financial people. A Rubrik IPO appears to be coming, later this year or early in 2024. That’s what Blocks & Files thinks anyway.