French cloud and colocation service provider OVH has increased its nominal market value by 6% after its first public offering on the Euronext Paris stock exchange.
The Gallic tech challenger, seen by some as the great hope of the cloud for Europe, has faced quite a few challenges this year, after seeing his Strasbourg operations flood on March 10.
But the European IPO proved hot in other ways as well, with stocks up around €19.70, well on track with the launch price of €18.50 to €20.
Last week, the company cut about €50 million from its IPO target, lowering its capital raising expectation from €400 million to about €350 million based on the initial price.
Still, dreams of a successful debut haven’t gone up in smoke, prompting local dignitaries to celebrate.
“It’s a great day for French and European technical sovereignty,” said French technology minister Cédric O at a launch ceremony. “We want to make champions here.”
The money raised will be used to expand into new services such as HPC for AI and machine learning, database management solutions, and integrated SaaS and IaaS. The company will also look to expand in the Americas and Asia, hire more leaders in Europe and engage in mergers and acquisitions.
OVH, which employs 2,400 people and operates 33 data centers hosting 400,000 servers, is still largely owned by CEO Octave Klaba and his family. It recorded a turnover of 632 million euros in 2020 and reported an EBITDA of 263 million euros.
As for the OVHcloud fire, which took place on March 10 and destroyed the SBG2 hall of the data center in Strasbourg, severely damaged SBG1 and led to a huge effort to clean up the salvage kit so that it can be used in the remaining three data centers in Strasbourg. Strasbourg could be installed or moved to other OVH facilities. Fortunately no one was injured. The vendor has since launched a three-point “hyper resilience” plan to prevent such a catastrophe.
In addition to providing some data sovereignty that US suppliers are beginning to offer, political proponents hope that OVHcloud can stand up to the economic might of Amazon, Microsoft and Google – the leaders in the cloud market worldwide.
Figures released by research firm Canalys show that OVHcloud overtook IBM in the EMEA cloud infrastructure services market in the second quarter, securing 2.8 percent of revenue, ahead of Big Blue’s 2.5 percent, a figure that fell from 3. 1 percent in 2020. The French provider also managed to stay ahead of Oracle, which also struggled to grow in the EMEA market. However, it lagged far behind leaders AWS (35.1 percent), Microsoft Azure (25 percent) and Google Cloud (8.6 percent), all of which managed to grow market share in the past year.
According to Canalys, the value of the EMEA cloud services market was $10.8 billion in the second quarter of 2021, up 35 percent from a year earlier.
Earlier this month, Google and French titan Thales launched a partnership for a sovereign version of the G-Cloud. The two have formed a joint venture to build a hyperscale cloud that uses Google’s cloud technology but doesn’t touch the ad giant’s physical infrastructure.
In September, Google Cloud and T-Systems announced plans to create a “sovereign cloud offering” for Germany, though the details are vague and it may not be digital sovereignty as the term is commonly understood. The project will see T-Systems play a role in managing “a broad spectrum of next-generation cloud solutions and infrastructure… powered by Google Cloud,” according to the European integrator-cum-consultant.
The EU, meanwhile, has Gaia-X, a project based on federated services and mandatory standards to ensure openness. AWS, er, joined the project in 2020.
Oracle announced plans for a cloud region in France earlier this week. ®