LaCie Gets into Cloud Storage with Wuala

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Storage and peripheral vendor LaCie has entered into a deal to merge with the small Swiss cloud storage outfit Wuala, with an eye towards integrating easy-to-use online storage capabilities into LaCie products. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but LaCie will absorb nine Wuala employees.

Wuala bills itself as a social online storage service, enabling users to asily backup and store files online from any location with Internet access, and easily share those items with family, friends, and colleagues. Users have generally responded positively to Wuala’s services; one key feature is that Wuala encrypts all data on the user’s end before it is transfered to online storage, ensuring the data is safe not only once it is up in the “cloud” but also during transit. Users can grant access permissions for each individual folder stored on Wuala, and even let non-Wuala users access files.

“We’re very excited about this. This merger will transform our start-up into a world-class digital storage provider,” said Caleido AG co-founder Luzius Meisser, in a statement. Caleido AG is Quala’s parent company. “While other cloud operators invest in huge data centers consuming megawatts for powering servers and cooling them, Wuala builds its reliable and secure cloud storage by harnessing idle resources at the edge of the Internet. This has many advantages for the end user and results in a product that unites the fast access of local storage with the convenience of online storage.”

laCie is looking to Wuala’s services and technologies as a way to enhance and differentiate their products by adding the versatility of online storage capabilities. “This merge has allowed us to acquire a very innovative online storage solution that will transform our company from a leading hardware manufacturer to a comprehensive digital storage provider,” said LaCie CEO Philippe Spruch, in a statement.