Major industry shift as competitor Square Box Systems (CatDV) is acquired by Quantum (NASDAQ: QMCO)
Upstart axle.ai is now the leader in storage-agnostic media search software, after Quantum Corporation’s announcement yesterday that they have acquired industry veteran Square Box Systems, developers of CatDV MAM software. Founded in 2012, axle’s mission has always been to provide radically simple, affordable media search software that works within standard web browsers and supports nearly any type of local and cloud storage. During 2020, the rapid adoption of remote work in the media space due to COVID-19 has meant rapid uptake of the company’s products, which have now been deployed at over 650 sites worldwide.
In addition, axle.ai’s new SaaS pricing options, with bundles starting as low as $295 per month including HPE or Apple application server hardware, have brought on a new wave of adopters who are able to manage and search their high-resolution media via web browser for the first time. Cloud and hybrid cloud deployments of the software are also increasingly common, as the company’s Linux VM (virtual machine) version can be run in a number of cloud and private network enviroments.
Quantum’s acquisition of Square Box is part of a larger M&A trend in the Future of Work space for media, where two significant deals – Smartsheets acquiring Brandfolder for $155m, and Apple acquiring Spanish video search company Vilynx for a rumored $50m – occurred earlier this quarter. Yet buttressed by its recent business successes, axle ai is committed to remaining independent.
In recent months, axle.ai has announced a series of key partnerships with publicly-held storage vendors including NetApp, Dropbox and Infortrend, and privately-held vendors such as Qumulo, Spectralogic, Symply, Galileo Digital ACNC, Cloudian, mLogic and Backblaze. The company has also rolled out integrations with the three major video editing platforms – Adobe Premiere Pro, Avid Media Composer and Apple Final Cut Pro X. Put together, it’s a formidable Future of Work ecosystem for the video industry.
Industry analyst Larry Jordan said: “axle.ai made its initial mark by providing easy to use, extensible and shareable media asset management (MAM) software for media creators. But, as the acquisition by Quantum makes clear, the market is far bigger than just M&E. The world tells stories using pictures. Every company in every industry is shifting to visual communications using digital images. As the numbers of visual images we need to label, track and share explode, companies like axle.ai become even more valuable and necessary.”
axle.ai’s growing list of hardware and software partnerships will no doubt be a strategic asset as it benefits from the rapid rise of video collaboration (heightened by much more remote work during the COVID pandemic), increasingly powerful AI and ML technologies to search and manage that video, and the emergence of 5G and satellite networks that make high-speed connectivity more widely available.
The company’s platform consists of 3 core products:
- axle.ai 2020.2, its flagship remote video search tool featuring browser access and integrations with leading video editing tools
- connectr.ai, its breakthrough workflow tool that lets teams create timesaving automations via drag-and-drop
- ascribe.ai, its integrated speech transcription product that makes large amounts of video searchable easily
“Yesterday’s announcement is an industry watershed”, said Sam Bogoch, CEO of axle.ai. “It clearly demonstrates the relevance and strategic importance of video search and workflow automation, while demonstrating to both storage and application companies why they should have a strong and committed partner in this space going forward. We believe we’re ideally positioned to be that partner.”
axle.ai, Inc. is the recognized leader in remote search software for video. Its Future of Work solutions have helped over 650 media organizations improve how they create, share and store digital video content with software that’s easy to install, use and afford. axle’s radically simple remote search, workflow automation and transcription uniquely addresses a burgeoning need and has caught on rapidly among video professionals in sports, post-production, education, broadcast, corporate, house of worship, non-profit, advertising-marketing, and government organizations worldwide. The company’s investors include Jason Calacanis and Quake Ventures. More information at https://axle.ai