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Rubrik is a tech startup company founded in 2014. Rubrik is based in Palo Alto. One of Rubrik’s co-founders Bipul Sinha currently serves as CEO.  that specializes in cloud-based data management software . As part of this software Rubrik also offers backup and protection services through its cloud system to ensure that data is secure. Rubrik views in house physical data management infrastructure as ‘legacy systems’ . A ‘legacy system’ is simply defined to be “an outdated system and/or hardware that is still in use.”  Thus, Rubrik transitions clients from the physical infrastructure to a cloud-based system. Rubrik offers several products including a concept known as “Rubrik build” in which the client can construct custom data automation and integration processes on the cloud platform .
Over the years Rubrik has experienced growth in several aspects of its business. Rubrik was named the “2020 Gartner Peer Insights Customer’s Choice for Data Center Backup and Recovery solutions.”  Strategically Rubrik has gained various partnerships and has made a few acquisitions. One of Rubrik’s partners is Arrow a technology solutions company ]4 with sales revenue of $29B in 2019.  Rubrik has made a few acquisitions with its most recent acquisition being Igneous Software Systems, a data management firm based in Seattle, which occurred less than a month ago. . Despite Igneous running into financial troubles, Rubrik’s management sees value in Igneous’ UDMAAS technology. This technology is an unstructured data management technology that has the ability to potentially manage trillions of files and structure these unstructured data files . Rubrik management intends to integrate the UDMAAS technology into Rubrik’s cloud platform. 
Rubrik has also experienced growth from a financial perspective. Rubrik predicts $600M in revenue for the 2020 fiscal year which ends for Rubrik on January 31. Rubrik used revenues from the first month of 2020 to carry out an annualized run-rate prediction. . Rubrik’s valuation has grown exponentially from $44.2M in 2015 to $3.3B after its latest round of funding in 2019 . In 2019, Rubrik raised $261B at a rate which nearly tripled the value of the company from $1.3B to $3.3B. . Rubrik raised funding from the following venture capital firms in its latest round of funding: Lightspeed Venture Partners, Khosla Ventures, Greylock Partners, Bain Capital Partners, IVP (Institutional Venture Partners).
With growth comes new challenges which Rubrik has faced. Rubrik faces fierce competition in a $48B data management market with prominent competitors including Dell Technologies EMC, CommVault Systems, and Veritas. Additionally, Rubrik faces a lawsuit filed by Actifio regarding patent infringement. The litigation was initially announced 6 months ago with no new updates. 
Rubrik is a disruptor in the data space and with its rapid growth and challenges is an interest company to watch for 2021.
Articles for Further Reading (and used in part to create this post)
 (Craft) : craft.co/rubrik (and supplemental tabs)
 (Rubrik) : www.rubrik.com/en/why-rubrik
: (talend): www.talend.com/resources/what-is-legacy-system/
: (arrow-1): www.arrow.com/ecs/na/products/rubrik/
: (arrow-2): www.arrow.com/en/about-arrow/overview
: (blocksfiles2): blocksandfiles.com/2020/02/22/rubrik-cla…0m-revenue-run-rate/
: (Forbes): https://www.forbes.com/sites/petercohan/2019/02/07/rubrik-raises-261m-triples-valuation-aiming-at-48b-data-protection-market/?sh=68b1117e5637’
 (Cisio): www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/actifio…ubrik-301085531.html
Impossible Foods is an alternative food startup that produces plant-based meat products . Impossible Foods is based in Redwood California and was founded by Pat Brown M.D., P.H.D. who currently serves as CEO for the firm.  Impossible Foods released its first alternative burger in 2016 after 5 years of R & D. 
About the Founder
Pat Brown received his Bachelors and PhD from the University of Chicago in Biochemistry. Dr. Brown also received an M.D. with a specialization in pediatrics from the University of Chicago. He earned his residency at Chicago Children’s Memorial Hospital in pediatrics. . After completing his PhD Dr. Brown accepted a position as professor of biochemistry at Stanford University. During his time as professor, Dr. Brown helped develop a groundbreaking technology known as “DNA microarrays”. DNA microarrays help to identify whether a specific gene of an individual is mutated or not. The term microarray is used because DNA micorarrays are able to look at several hundreds of regions of a gene where the mutation may lie at once as opposed to traditional technology that could only look at one or two regions . One immediate application of this technology is being able to catch more cases of cancer caused by mutated genes very early on.  Many forms of cancer have a lower mortality rate when caught early on which highlights the importance of this technology.
Impossible Foods Classification and Technology
It may confuse the reader as to why a food production firm is lumped into research with other tech companies from the Silicon Valley area. This section will argue that the placement is justified and that in fact Impossible foods is a tech startup in its own right. In the previous section, the founder’s qualifications were highlighted as well as his research experience with gene expression and mutations. When Dr. Brown decided to start Impossible Foods, he did not forget about his previous background and used that background to develop Impossible Foods alternative meat. The technology rests on the discovery made by Impossible Foods of heme’s role. Heme is a molecule found in animals (and the human body). Heme is a molecule that is rich in iron. The heme found in blood “grabs the oxygen from your lungs and carries it around your body.” . More important to Impossible Foods was the discovery that heme is what “makes meat taste like meat” and causes human’s to crave meat.  The taste of heme is both present in the raw and cooked forms of meat. With this observation, Dr. Brown and his employees decided that heme needed to be present the alternative meat product offered by Impossible Foods. Since clearly the group could not used heme found in meat, the group turned to plants that naturally have heme. Soy, a plant that is already used by other companies to create alternative products such as dairy and cheese proved to be a viable option. Soy heme is found in the root nodules of the soy plant . The root nodule is the location where bacteria engage in the process of nitrogen fixation.  Nitrogen fixation is the process where bacteria convert atmospheric nitrogen into nitrogen compounds which the host absorbs and uses for its growth.  If the story stopped here, the classification of Impossible Foods as a tech startup would still be inaccurate. While Impossible Foods located soy heme in the root nodules of the plant, that is not the heme that is found in alternative meat products offered by Impossible Foods. The heme found in meat products offered by heme is produced by yeast. . In particular the DNA from soy heme is extracted and inserted into yeasts. These yeasts then engage in the process of fermentation to produce heme. . The process of yeasts engaging in fermentation to produce a product is not an entirely novel idea. Fermentation is used to produce wines and certain types of cheeses, as well as other products. However, the process pioneered by Impossible Foods was novel and involved the genetic engineering of foods. The process was a technological process that was started by scratch and developed to produce the meat product today. This engineering element is what classifies Impossible Foods as a tech firm.
The plant-based meat industry as a whole is poised for growth. At the moment alternative meat accounts for 2% of packaged meat sales, however alternative meat sales rose by 11% in 2020 compared to traditional packaged meat rising only by 2%.  Some predict that the alternative meat industry will have a net worth of $85B in 2030 and that consumption of traditional meat will drop by 33% in 2040.]
Despite the fact alternative meat only has a 2% market share of packaged meat , Impossible Foods has seen tremendous financial growth and success since the launch of the Impossible Burger in 2016. Impossible Foods revenue in 2019 was $130.1M  with a predicted revenue of $151.5M in 2020 . In 2019 Impossible Foods partnered with Burger King to create a join product dubbed “Impossible Whopper” which provided tremendous distribution to the Impossible Burger . That same year Impossible Foods faced a massive shortage of the Impossible Burger which was solved by entering another partnership with a manufacturer who was able to produce a much greater quantity of the Impossible Burger . In March 2020 the Impossible Burger could be found in 150 retail grocery stores. As of August 2020, the Impossible Burger could be found in 8000 grocery stores over 50X that of March 2020.  In the beginning of 2020, Impossible Foods unveiled its new product the “Impossible Sausage”. As of 2020, Impossible Sausage could be ordered in 22,000 restaurants.
Recent Funding Rounds and Investors
Additionally, Impossible Foods has gotten attention from a diverse group of investors. In March 2020 Impossible Foods raised $500M in funding.  In It’s most recent round of funding, Impossible Foods raised another $200M in funding  for a total capital raising of $1.5B . Impossible Foods is currently valued at $4B . Asset management firm Coatue led Impossible Food’s most recent Series G $200M funding. XN, Mirae Asset Global and Temasek also invested in Impossible Funds during this Series G funding round. XN is a new NYC startup hedge fund that was launch July 2020 with initial raising of $1BN.  Temasek is a noteworthy investor as it is an asset management firm based in Singapore.  Apart from traditional institutional investors, famous individual celebrities have invested in Impossible Foods such as Jay-Z, Katy Perry, and Serena Williams, among others. 
Despite these successes, Impossible Foods has it’s challenges. Impossible Foods’ biggest competitor is Beyond Meat who had a revenue of $298M in 2019, over double that of Impossible Foods. . Household names such as Cargill, Kellogg’s, Hormel, and Neste have either entered or are soon to enter the alternative meat and dairy market after seeing the recent growth of the market.  These brands which a far more substantial R & D budget and global distribution capabilities will prove to be tough competitors to Impossible Foods in the future. Apart from increasing competition, Impossible Foods faces other challenges. The alterative meat market as a whole is still a niche market due to the price point of the product compared to regular meat. In Hong Kong a 12 ounce package of Impossible Beef sells for HK $89.9 ($11.60 USD) while regular beef sells for roughly half that price point. . While Impossible Food plans to lower it’s price point  it is still far from accessible for the every day consumer.
Impossible Foods is an interesting food tech startup company that is a disruptor in the traditional packaged meat market. The company raised $700B in 2020 and it will be interesting to see if Impossible Foods does more capital raising in 2021.
Articles for Further Reading (and were used in part to construct this post) (if-1): www.impossiblefoods.com/
 (bus.ofbus.): www.businessofbusiness.com/articles/impo…industry-trend-data/
 (if-patbrown): impossiblefoods.com/company/ourteam/patbrown
 (NHGRI): www.genome.gov/about-genomics/fact-sheet…icroarray-Technology
 (if-science): faq.impossiblefoods.com/hc/en-us/article…nd-Impossible-Foods-  (if-heme): impossiblefoods.com/heme
 (sciencedirect): www.sciencedirect.com/topics/biochemistr…-biology/root-nodule
 (Britannica): www.britannica.com/science/nitrogen-fixation
 (WhatComp): whatcompetitors.com/beyondmeat/#Who_is_B…s_Biggest_Competitor
 (Growjo): growjo.com/company/Impossible_Foods : (if-growth): impossiblefoods.com/media/news-releases/…to-accelerate-growth
: (axios): www.axios.com/impossible-foods-series-g-…58-f1cb04583e58.html
: (FT): www.ft.com/content/915caafc-6ccb-4fbf-a4d3-af5130d8a898
: (Temasek): www.temasek.com.sg/en/index
 (CX Tech): www.caixinglobal.com/2021-01-11/impossib…eaper-101649231.html
goodmeat.co, a new digital platform focused on educating consumers about the importance of this method of meat production as worldwide demand for animal protein continues to grow.
JUST, Michael Foods Partner to Put Plant-Based Eggs on More Foodservice Menus: Michael Foods Partnership
JUST & European Food Manufacturer Emsland Group Partner to Scale Plant-Based JUST Egg:
JUST Egg Reports Q1 2020 Retail Sales Surge and Piqued Consumer Interest: Q1 2020 Sales
JUST gains new partners to bring JUST Egg to Asia, Latin America and Europe: Global Partners
Profits before IPO for plant-based egg producer Eat Just https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlyDgLTj9pc&ab_channel=CNBCInternationalTV
Eat JUST is a San Francisco based alternative protein company that was founded in 2011 by Josh Tetrick and Josh Balk. Currently Tetrick serves as CEO . A major arm of Eat JUST is JUST egg a plant-based egg that “scrambles and tastes just like eggs”. 
JUST egg uses a key ingredient known as the mung bean. The mung bean is a protein containing legume that JUST discovered scrambles like eggs. . JUST egg also contains turmeric as spice and coloring agent. 
Currently, the global chicken egg market is valued at $238B across various industry categories. The biggest industries are the retail egg industry which is valued at $122B, the egg ingredients industry which is valued at $73.2B, and the egg food service industry which is valued at $49B.  Thus, there certainly exists market potential for JUST egg. One major challenge is that JUST egg’s application as an ingredient in baked goods is limited, which significantly hampers the market potential JUST egg can enter currently. .
Despite these challenges, JUST egg is continuing to grow. Eat Just has just announced in the past week that Dicos, a major Chinese fast-food chain, has partnered with Eat Just to add the JUST egg product to the menu in over 500+ locations.  If the trial goes well, there is potential for even greater reach for JUST egg as Dicos currently has 2600 locations.  This announcement comes 3 months after JUST egg had announced a partnership with Proterra Investment Partners Asia to develop JUST egg’s first factory in Asia which will be located in Singapore.  Eat JUST also received regulatory approval in Singapore for its cultured chicken product. The product requires animal cell culture technology which essentially grows the cells in meat in-house as opposed to slaughtering an animal .Eat JUST has gotten attention from investors. Eat JUST has raised more than $300 million from investors with notable investors being venture capital firm Khosla Ventures and entrepreneur Li Ka-Shing . The firm is currently valued at $1.2B .
Despite this, Eat JUST faces challenges. Zero egg and Le Papondu are notable competitors in the alternative egg space . While Le Papondu is only in the very early stages as a company, Le Papondu’s egg is different from Eat JUST in the fact that the product comes in a shell and looks like an egg. On the other hand, JUST egg comes as a liquid form in a bottle. Thus, Le Papondu could have a competitive advantage that starts to threaten JUST egg in the next few years.Another challenge that JUST egg and generally the alternative food industry at large faces is pricing. The cost to produce a JUST egg is 18 cents, over double that of a regular egg which costs only 8.2 cents to produce.  While the management of JUST egg has plans through operational efficiencies and outsourcing to lower that cost, it is a hurdle that JUST egg will face for several years to come.
Additionally, JUST egg is still at an operating loss. Firm management hopes to start turning a profit by end of 2021. 
JUST egg is a disruptor in the traditional egg market that is up and coming. While not profitable yet, the firm is experiencing rapid growth and hoping to turn a profit by end of 2021. At that point the firm plans to do an IPO  which will be an interesting event to watch for investors.
Articles for Further Reading (and in part used to create this post) (CNBC): www.cnbc.com/2020/06/16/eat-just-disruptor-50.html
 (JUST): www.ju.st/products/just-egg
 (Food Navigator): www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Article/2020/0…nd-of-2021-mulls-IPO
 (CISION): www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/eat-bey…ement-301208490.html
 (TechCrunch): techcrunch.com/2020/10/20/eat-just-partn…DZ6WAdo7okv0vEI3gYBr
 (businesswire): www.businesswire.com/news/home/202012010…al-for-Cultured-Meat
 (thebeet): thebeet.com/french-startup-creates-a-sup…an-egg-with-a-shell/
Grab is a Singaporean app company founded In 2012 by Anthony Tran and Tan Hooi Ling . Currently Tran serves as CEO . Grab offers a wide variety of products through its app such as taxi services, delivery of restaurant meals, and groceries as well as purchasing tickets and booking hotels .
The e-commerce app industry has seen rapid growth. While certain aspects such as ride-sharing have declined due to the pandemic, other areas such as delivery of groceries and meals has seen rapid growth. Market research from Google, Temasek , and Bain & Co. indicates that in the largest economies in Southeast Asia (Grab’s geographical reach) 33% of current e-commerce customers started only after the pandemic . What is more striking is the retention level of these new customers. Over 90% of these new customers indicated that they intend to continue using e-commerce platforms even after the pandemic subsides.  The same research predicts the online commerce industry in the area to amount to $1.2T by 2025. Currently online transactions amount to $620B .
Firm Growth and Financing
One advantage Grab has is that certain arms of the business have continued to perform well during the pandemic. One arm of Grab that has done so is Grab Financial. Grab Financial was founded in 2017 and offers online financial services such as banking and wealth management. . Grab Financial’s revenue grew 40% in 2020. Despite this growth, Grab Financial is still not a profitable venture yet. However, investors feel confident in the future of Grab Financial. Grab Financial just had a capital raise of $300M valuing the arm of Grab at $3B. . Hanwha Asset Management was the lead investor on this most recent round of financing. Venture capital firms GGV and Flourish Ventures also participated. .With regards to Grab itself the company has undergone 31 rounds of financing and has raised $10.1B . As of Jun 2020, Grab was valued at $14.9B . Observe that the valuation is only 1.5X the cap raise, something a potential investor should note and look into.
Competition and Regulation While Grab faces competitors such as Didi Chuxing, Gett, and iCarsClub , Grab is a very solid force in the Singaporean market (and associated areas). As a result Grab has faced attention from regulators looking to prevent monopolistic control. In 2018 Uber and Grab engaged in a merger that soon was picked up by regulators. In September 2018, the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore ruled that the Uber-Grab deal had too much market as is (the unregulated merger gave Grab an 80% market share in Singapore), and thus the Commission put in place a series of restrictions and regulations to reduce Grab’s market share. . Grab also paid a $6.4M fine for the merger. Uber appealed the decision by the commission in late 2020. Uber lost the appeal just a few days ago and as a result will have to pay an additional $6.58M penalty, the costs that the CCCS incurred to process and review the appeal. .
Potential Merger or Acquisition
This however has not hindered Grab from pursuing other merges and acquisitions. As of December 2020, Grab has announced potential plans to merge or acquire Gojek. Gojek has a similar business model to Grab of ride-sharing and grocery deliveries via an app. Gojek’s main current market is Indonesia. Additionally, Gojek is currently valued at $10B . It remains to be seen how regulators will respond to the potential deal and what will be the impact of the deal.
With a potential merger or acquisition soon to come and growth due to COVID, Grab is an interesting company to watch. Additionally, as part of the Grab-Uber agreement Grab must have an IPO by March 2023 or pay Uber $2.26B in fines . It will be interesting to see how all these
developments play out in the next few years.
Articles for Further Reading (and in part used to create this post): (Reuters): www.reuters.com/article/us-singapore-ban…elight-idUSKBN28V09K
: (Crunchbase-1): www.crunchbase.com/organization/grabtaxi
: (Grab): www.grab.com/sg/
: (FT): www.ft.com/content/e5143de1-b7f8-4410-898f-b4f9bdec823d
: (Crunchbase-2): www.crunchbase.com/organization/grabtaxi/company_financials : (CNBC): www.cnbc.com/2020/06/16/grab-disruptor-50.html
: (Craft): craft.co/grab/competitors
: (StraitsTimes): www.straitstimes.com/singapore/transport…ith-grab-deemed-anti
: [CNA]: www.channelnewsasia.com/news/commentary/…e-incentive-13890132
23andMe is a DNA testing firm that was founded by Anne Wojcicki, Paul Cusenza, and Linda Avey in 2006. The firm is based in Mountain View, California. Currently Wojcicki serves as CEO of 23andMe. 
The tests require a spit or mouth swab sample to be mailed to the company. A chip is then used to examine the positions where DNA between individuals is different. Each unique position is known as a single nucleotide polymorphism. . There are about 600,000 of these that are compared in a DNA test and can provide information about ancestors, geographical regions of descent and physical traits such as hair color.
The market demand for DNA tests has been volatile. The number of at-home DNA tests ordered in 2018 was approximately 13M, the total number of tests that had been ordered before that point. That surge in growth dropped in 2019 which saw an industry growth rate of 20% . The Global Genetic Testing market research report predicts a CAGR of 11.85% in the period 2021 – 2028 with a terminal value of $585.81B.  However, potential increased standardization efforts and regulation could be a hamper on companies in the space .
23andMe’s competitive advantage lies in the fact that it is the only company cleared by the FDA for health tests. 
However, with that clearance has come greater scrutiny of the company. Particularly, in 23andMe’s cancer tests which doctors argue only looks at a select number of mutations that could lead to cancer and thus deem the tests “misleading.” Another recent development is the potential for these companies to hand over DNA data to the FBI. This raises privacy concerns which could have a detrimental effect on 23andMe’s growth. In terms of competition, 23andMe’s major competitor is Ancestry and the two dominate the American consumer DNA test space . Financially, 23andMe took a hit in 2020 and was forced to lay off 14% of its workers at the start of the year.
In terms of funding 23AndMe has had 15 funding rounds and has had a cumulative cap raise of $868.6M . As of the beginning of 2020 the company was value at $2.5B . The most recent lead investors are venture capital firms Pegasus Tech Ventures and Sequoia Capital. 
23AndMe is at the center of a dynamic gene testing industry that has proved to be volatile over the past few years. It remains to be seen whether the industry will grow rapidly or slow down due to regulations. 23AndMe will be an interesting company to watch this year.
Articles for further reading (and used in part to construct this post) (Forbes): www.forbes.com/profile/anne-wojcicki/?sh=3d5dddf25b9f
 (MITReview): www.technologyreview.com/2019/02/11/1034…-home-ancestry-test/
. (yahoo finance): finance.yahoo.com/news/oncehot-dna-testi…ouble-115817212.html
 (PharmiWeb): www.pharmiweb.com/press-release/2021-01-…028-23andme-inc-abbo
 (Crunchbase): www.crunchbase.com/organization/23andme/company_financials
Our own research hosted @ preiposwap.com
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