Keep expectations low and you won't be disappointed: OVH manages 6 per cent increase on its IPO debut

French cloud provider puts outage and fire behind it to focus on beating the big players

French cloud and colocation service provider OVH has edged a 6 per cent increase in its nominal market valuation following its initial public offering on the Euronext Paris stock exchange.

The Gallic tech challenger, viewed by some as the great cloud hope for Europe, has faced its fair share of challenges this year, having seen fire engulf its Strasbourg operations on 10 March.

But the European IPO proved hot in other ways, with shares up to around €19.70, well on track with the launch price range of €18.50-€20.

Last week the company trimmed roughly €50m off its IPO target, dropping its expectation for raising capital from €400m to around €350m based on the initial price.

Still, its dreams of a successful debut have not gone up in smoke, offering cause for local dignitaries to celebrate.

"It's a great day for French and European tech sovereignty," said French technology minister Cédric O in 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 try to expand in the Americas and Asiam, hire more leaders in Europe and dabble in M&A.

OVH, which employs 2,400 staff and operates 33 data centres that host 400,000 servers, is still majority owned by CEO Octave Klaba and his family. It turned over €632m in 2020 and reported EBITDA of €263m.

As for the OVHcloud fire, it took place on March 10 and destroyed the SBG2 hall of the Strasbourg data centre, damaged SBG1 badly, and led to a massive effort to clean salvageable kit so it could be installed in the remaining three data centres at Strasbourg or moved to other OVH facilities. Thankfully, no one was hurt. The vendor has since launched a three-point "hyper resilience" plan to avoid such a catastrophe.

As well as offering some data sovereignty, which US vendors are beginning to provide, political advocates hope OVHcloud can stand up to the economic clout of Amazon, Microsoft and Google – the leaders in the cloud market worldwide.

Figures released by research firm Canalys show OVHcloud overtook IBM in EMEA cloud infrastructure services market in Q2, securing 2.8 per cent of sales, ahead of Big Blue's 2.5 per cent, a figure which fell from 3.1 per cent in 2020. The French provider also managed to stay ahead of Oracle, which also struggled to achieve growth in the EMEA market. However, it remained well behind the leaders AWS (35.1 per cent), Microsoft Azure (25 per cent) and Google Cloud (8.6 per cent), all of which managed to increase their market share over the last year.

The value of the EMEA cloud services market was $10.8bn in the second quarter of 2021, according to Canalys, a figure which increased 35 per cent compared with 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 created a joint venture to build a hyperscale cloud that uses Google's cloud tech but doesn't touch any of the ad giant's physical infrastructure.

In September Google Cloud and T-Systems announced plans to create a "sovereign cloud offering" for Germany, though details are sketchy and it may not be digital sovereignty as the term is normally understood. The project involves T-Systems playing a role in managing "a large spectrum of next-generation cloud solutions and infrastructure… powered by Google Cloud," the European integrator-cum-consultancy said.

The EU, meanwhile, has Gaia-X, a project based around federated services and mandated standards to ensure openness. AWS, er, joined the project in 2020.

Oracle announced plans for a cloud region in France earlier this week. ®

Similar topics

Other stories you might like

  • India reveals home-grown server that won't worry the leading edge

    And a National Blockchain Strategy that calls for gov to host BaaS

    India's government has revealed a home-grown server design that is unlikely to threaten the pacesetters of high tech, but (it hopes) will attract domestic buyers and manufacturers and help to kickstart the nation's hardware industry.

    The "Rudra" design is a two-socket server that can run Intel's Cascade Lake Xeons. The machines are offered in 1U or 2U form factors, each at half-width. A pair of GPUs can be equipped, as can DDR4 RAM.

    Cascade Lake emerged in 2019 and has since been superseded by the Ice Lake architecture launched in April 2021. Indian authorities know Rudra is off the pace, and said a new design capable of supporting four GPUs is already in the works with a reveal planned for June 2022.

    Continue reading
  • Prisons transcribe private phone calls with inmates using speech-to-text AI

    Plus: A drug designed by machine learning algorithms to treat liver disease reaches human clinical trials and more

    In brief Prisons around the US are installing AI speech-to-text models to automatically transcribe conversations with inmates during their phone calls.

    A series of contracts and emails from eight different states revealed how Verus, an AI application developed by LEO Technologies and based on a speech-to-text system offered by Amazon, was used to eavesdrop on prisoners’ phone calls.

    In a sales pitch, LEO’s CEO James Sexton told officials working for a jail in Cook County, Illinois, that one of its customers in Calhoun County, Alabama, uses the software to protect prisons from getting sued, according to an investigation by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

    Continue reading
  • Battlefield 2042: Please don't be the death knell of the franchise, please don't be the death knell of the franchise

    Another terrible launch, but DICE is already working on improvements

    The RPG Greetings, traveller, and welcome back to The Register Plays Games, our monthly gaming column. Since the last edition on New World, we hit level cap and the "endgame". Around this time, item duping exploits became rife and every attempt Amazon Games made to fix it just broke something else. The post-level 60 "watermark" system for gear drops is also infuriating and tedious, but not something we were able to address in the column. So bear these things in mind if you were ever tempted. On that note, it's time to look at another newly released shit show – Battlefield 2042.

    I wanted to love Battlefield 2042, I really did. After the bum note of the first-person shooter (FPS) franchise's return to Second World War theatres with Battlefield V (2018), I stupidly assumed the next entry from EA-owned Swedish developer DICE would be a return to form. I was wrong.

    The multiplayer military FPS market is dominated by two forces: Activision's Call of Duty (COD) series and EA's Battlefield. Fans of each franchise are loyal to the point of zealotry with little crossover between player bases. Here's where I stand: COD jumped the shark with Modern Warfare 2 in 2009. It's flip-flopped from WW2 to present-day combat and back again, tried sci-fi, and even the Battle Royale trend with the free-to-play Call of Duty: Warzone (2020), which has been thoroughly ruined by hackers and developer inaction.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021