Minio has a plan to become the neutral object storage layer, while still maintaining Amazon S3 object storage compatibility. That may seem like an odd strategy, but as CEO Anand Babu Periasamy, co-founder and CEO of Minio points out, there is a clear market need.
By building a solution that enables customers to store data across a variety of solutions including S3, he believes he is giving customers working across multiple environments a viable solution they lack today.
Apparently investors agree because they handed him a check for $20 million, a pretty hefty amount for a Series A round. It comes just months after the company’s $3.3 million seed round in June.
The round was jointly led by Dell Technologies Capital, General Catalyst Partners and Nexus Venture Partners. Intel Capital, AME Cloud and Steve Singh also participated.
Periasamy certainly can see that Amazon controls vast swaths of cloud market share, but he says the vast majority is still with companies other than Amazon. He has decided, rather than trying to fight Amazon for its object storage market, which he acknowledges is vast, he would rather talk to Microsoft, Google and the other players in this market, while also making his storage solution compatible with S3 to give customers the best of all worlds.
One thing he knows for sure is that there is no shortage of is data. We are generating ever-increasing amounts of it and companies looking to work in a cloud-native world want a storage solution that behaves the same whether it’s on-prem or in the cloud. It’s what we are seeing in the container space with Kubernetes, and in some sense, Periasamy wants his company to be the Kubernetes of object storage, a neutral party that works across solutions in a predictable way.
Mike Matchett, senior analyst and consultant at Taneja Group sees this as a crucial missing piece. “As enterprises consider new hybrid IT solutions like VMware on AWS to extend their on-premise virtual environments, Minio bridges the final data storage gap between on-premise and cloud hosting that otherwise severely limits the cloud opportunity,” he explained in a statement.
With the seed money, the company built an open source object storage platform and was able to offer at least of a proof of concept. With some companies using the solution, the next goal is to find a way to commercialize the idea and get some paying customers. With $20 million in hand, that should help.