Wasabi, AWS’s competitor, enhances its cloud storage with Curio AI acquisition.

ByYasmeeta Oon

Jan 25, 2024

Boston-based Wasabi Technologies, a rising star in the data storage industry, has recently made headlines with a strategic move that positions it to compete more effectively with major cloud vendors such as AWS and GCP. The company announced its acquisition of Curio AI, a machine learning platform, from GrayMeta, a renowned California-based provider of metadata solutions. This move marks a significant step for Wasabi as it diversifies and enhances its technological offerings.

Although the financial details of the transaction were not publicly disclosed, Wasabi highlighted in a press release that the acquisition is a strategic step towards integrating Curio’s technology into a new class of AI-powered intelligent storage, specifically targeting the media and entertainment industry. This industry is rapidly evolving and is in dire need of innovative storage solutions that can keep pace with its growing data demands.

Wasabi plans to leverage the intellectual property and expertise of the Curio team, which it gained through the acquisition, to launch this new product later in the year. A notable addition to Wasabi’s team post-acquisition is Aaron Edell, the former CEO of GrayMeta, who will join Wasabi as the Senior Vice President of AI and Machine Learning.

Curio AI’s Contribution to Wasabi’s Vision

Wasabi, founded in 2017 by Carbonite co-founders David Friend and Jeff Flowers, has revolutionized the cloud storage market with its “hot cloud storage” service. This service provides a universal, one-size-fits-all cloud object storage solution that allows organizations to store and access unlimited data instantly without the complexities of tiers, egress, or API fees. The company’s approach treats all data equally, ensuring ready accessibility whether the data is frequently (hot) or infrequently (cold) accessed.

Since its inception, Wasabi has attracted over 40,000 enterprise customers and 13,000 partners worldwide, establishing 13 storage regions across North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. However, in a market that constantly demands innovation, Wasabi sees the integration of Curio AI as a significant enhancement to its services, particularly for clients in the media and entertainment sector.

The Modern Challenge of Content Creation and Management

In today’s digital age, content creation, particularly in the media and entertainment industry, is accelerating at an unprecedented rate. Platforms like YouTube witness over 500 hours of video uploads every minute, and streaming services are continuously investing in creating new content. This explosive growth in content production has led to massive archives, presenting a challenge for efficient monetization and utilization of these vast data pools. Traditional manual methods for content retrieval from these archives are time-consuming and inefficient.

Curio AI, an API-first machine learning platform, addresses this challenge by generating rich metadata from extensive collections of video, audio, images, scripts, and documents. This advanced capability facilitates refined and rapid searches for specific media segments, transforming the way media archives are utilized.

David Friend, commenting on the significance of metadata in media archives, likened a video archive without detailed metadata to a library without a card catalog. He emphasized that AI is essential in locating specific faces, logos, objects, and voices within media archives, a task that would otherwise require laborious manual effort.

The Future of Intelligent Storage with Curio

Wasabi has been integrating with Curio since 2019, enabling users to connect their data with the ML platform. With the acquisition, Wasabi anticipates offering a more seamless, AI-powered search and discovery experience within the storage layer itself. This integration of Curio’s AI capabilities into Wasabi’s storage solutions is expected to revolutionize how media organizations access and leverage their content archives.

The founders of Wasabi envision this AI-powered storage to be as simple, fast, reliable, and cost-effective as their standard cloud storage. Post-acquisition, customers can expect not just to store data, but also to locate and retrieve precisely what they need instantly.

This innovation is set to unlock immense value for media organizations, enabling them to efficiently exploit their vast content archives. According to Aaron Edell, this intelligent storage solution, slated for release in spring 2024, represents a significant milestone in the storage industry since the invention of object storage.

The Road Ahead in Cloud Storage

The cloud storage market is experiencing robust growth, with projections by Markets and Markets indicating an increase from $78.6 billion in 2022 to $183.7 billion by 2027, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 18.5%. This growth is primarily driven by the escalating volume of data within enterprises and the cost and compliance benefits offered by cloud solutions.

Wasabi’s acquisition of Curio AI can be seen as a strategic move to capitalize on this market growth. By integrating advanced AI capabilities into their storage solutions, Wasabi is not only expanding its service offerings but also positioning itself as a frontrunner in the evolving cloud storage market.

Conclusion

In summary, Wasabi Technologies’ acquisition of Curio AI from GrayMeta marks a significant development in the cloud storage industry. It represents Wasabi’s commitment to innovation and its foresight in recognizing the growing demands of the media and entertainment sector for more efficient data management solutions. With this acquisition, Wasabi is set to redefine the standards of cloud storage, offering its customers a unique blend of simplicity, efficiency, and technological sophistication. This move undoubtedly places Wasabi in a strong position to compete with established cloud vendors and to make a substantial impact in the rapidly growing cloud storage market.

Yasmeeta Oon

Just a girl trying to break into the world of journalism, constantly on the hunt for the next big story to share.