Yahoo is spinning off Vespa.ai, the company’s search and big data serving engine, into an independent company.
Yahoo launched Vespa in 2005 and open-sourced it in 2017. The company has become an integral part of Yahoo, doing the heavy lifting in search, recommendations, and ad serving. The company’s big data serving engine has “become the platform of choice for applying AI to big data sets at serving time.”
According to CEO Jon Bratseth, Yahoo is now spinning Vespa off as an independent company:
Today we’re announcing that we’re spinning Vespa.ai out of Yahoo as a separate company: Vespa.ai. Vespa began as a project to solve Yahoo’s use cases in search, recommendation, and ad serving. Since we open-sourced it in 2017, it has grown to become the platform of choice for applying AI to big data sets at serving time.
Those working with large language models such as ChatGPT and vector databases turn to Vespa when they realize that creating quality solutions that scale involves much more than just looking up vectors. Enterprises with experience with search or recommender systems come to Vespa for the AI-first approach and unrivaled operability at scale.
Bratseth says the spinoff doesn’t mean an end of the company’s relationship with Yahoo. Yahoo will continue to have stake in Vespa, and the two companies will continue to work together:
While we’re separating Vespa from Yahoo, we’re not ending our relationship. Yahoo will own a stake in the new company and will be one of Vespa’s biggest customers for a long time to come. Vespa will continue to serve Yahoo’s personalized content, search and run new use cases leveraging large language models to provide new personalized experiences, something that can only be done at scale with Vespa.
Creating a company around Vespa will enable us to bring these advantages to the rest of the world on a massive scale, allowing us to bring the efficiencies of our cloud service to enterprises already relying on Vespa, as well as help more companies solve problems involving AI and big data online. It will also let us accelerate development of new features to empower Vespa users to create even better solutions, faster and at lower cost, whether deploying on our cloud service or sticking with the open-source distribution. For, while Vespa offers features and scalability far beyond any comparable technology thanks to our decades-long focus on combining AI and big data online, there is so much more to do. As the world is starting to leverage modern AI to solve real business problems online, the need for a platform that provides a solid foundation for these solutions has never been stronger. As engineers, we admit this is the part that excites us the most.