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How Rubrik’s IPO paid off big for Greylock VC Asheem Chandna | TechCrunch

How Rubrik’s IPO paid off big for Greylock VC Asheem Chandna | TechCrunch

When Ashim Chandna walked into Rubric's office in Palo Alto on a Friday night in early 2015, he was looking forward to what the young company that had yet to build its own product had to show. The Greylock fellow was not disappointed.

The company's CEO, Bipal Sinha, laid out Rubrik's plan to improve the data management and recovery market on the whiteboard. “The old-versus-new architecture he presented was very compelling,” Chandna said. “Based on my knowledge of the sector, I knew it could be built into a big business.”

It was a present call. On Thursday, nine years after that meeting, Rubrik began life as a publicly traded company with a A market cap of over $6 billion. Greylock has a 13% stake, According to the latest SEC filings. As of Friday's market close, with a share price of $38, those roughly 19.9 million shares were worth more than $756 million.

But Chandna says it was more than Rubric's desire to tap into the arcane data recovery market that motivated him to lead Rubric. $40 million Series B In May 2015. (The Series B round sold for $2.45/share, adjusting for the split, according to these SEC filings. While Graylock participated at higher prices in subsequent rounds, Chandna's return on it is much higher.)

“The more I work, the more I fundamentally believe that venture is a people business,” said Chandna, who has been an investor for more than 20 years and a successful exit manager. Has an enviable track record. He helped incubate Palo Alto Networks at Greylock's offices and was on the board of the nearly $100 billion company until last year. Chandna was also an early investor. App Dynamics, Sumo logic and Arista Networks.

Chandna looks for people who are not only motivated and passionate, but also self-aware of their weaknesses, and can recruit people who can work in areas that are not the founder's strong suit.

Another essential ingredient for a founder is patience. “If you had technology that was adequate, but slightly inferior to my technology, but you were very self-aware and persistent, you would beat me,” he said.

This is what he saw in Sinha. The founder of Rubrik had a lifelong dream of starting a company. Chandna recalls that when he founded the data management and recovery startup in 2013, he couldn't find strong engineers who wanted to work there. The business he was trying to build was not inherently sexy at the time.

Despite being an investor with Lightspeed for four years before starting Rubrik, recruiting talent proved to be a major challenge for Sinha. But he did not give up. He pinged engineers on LinkedIn and then invited them to coffee blocks from where they worked.

“The startup journey is a tough one, even for the most successful companies,” Chandna said. “I want people who won't take 'no' for an answer.”

Perhaps it was Sinha's courage and ambition that made him take his company public despite the heated IPO environment.

“Rubric has just under $800 million in annual recurring revenue,” Chandna said, “which is more than any company that's gone public in the last several years. I think they're just going to get on with it.” wanted.

Chandna declined to say whether he expects other Greylock portfolio companies to follow Rubrik's lead, but emphasized that the firm's best-performing late-stage businesses are unsustainable. Minor Security, Cato Networks, Discord, Figma and Lyra Health are.

We will see their results closely.

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