Khosla leads $61M round into fast-growing data protection startup Rubrik

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Data protection is emerging as a key focus area for Silicon Valley’s top investors. Khosla Ventures joined the fray today by leading a $61 million funding round into backup startup Rubrik Inc. with help from existing backers Lightspeed Venture Partners, Greylock Partners and a number of prominent tech executives.

The reason why the startup is drawing so much interest was explained by Chris Wahl, its chief technical evangelist, in an interview on SiliconANGLE’s theCUBE last month.  “The architecture of data protection hasn’t changed in 10-20 years. There’s been minor improvements, but it’s been this kind of blacksmith effort where you had to build a small data center to back up a large one and frankly it’s been no fun,” he told hosts Dave Dave Vellante and Stu Miniman. “The folks at Rubrik said ‘what if we could wipe the slate clean?’ and converged the different pieces into an appliance form factor.”

The startup’s 2U system provides the ability to back up all of an organization’s virtual machines through a centralized interface that sports a broad set of management features. Administrators can have snapshots compressed automatically to save storage space, configure access controls and customize how data is stored based on the service requirements of different workloads. Rubrik provides a choice between keeping records on its appliance’s on-board flash and disk drives or sending them outside the firewall to Amazon S3.

Today’s investment will enable the startup to expand its system’s feature set even further and step up marketing efforts. The company will need to invest the cash wisely if it wants to fend off the growing competition from Actifio Inc. and Delphix Inc., two equally well-funded startups that also focus on helping companies consolidate their backup infrastructure. The three outfits have raised over $400 million between them.

Image via theCUBE