New French Tech Hub Customer Blade just raised a series A round of $57 million for its cloud computing service for gamers – Shadow! The company had already raised $14.6 million from 20 business angels in 2015 and 2016. The same ones invested again, including Nick Suppipat, Pierre-Kosciusko Morizet and Michael Benabou.
Blade develops a cloud computer that can be used on any device with a screen and an Internet connection. The user can benefit from the high performing features of a powerful computer only by plugging a little device on his computer, or by downloading an app on his smartphone. In the meantime, the virtual machine is running in a data center near the user. To be more specific: Blade is currently running thousands of virtual machines on 800 server-grade Intel Xeon processors with a dedicated Nvidia GTX 1070 for each user, for $32 a month – service only available in France for now.
With this funding round, the startup plans to grow its customer base: “The first thing we’re going to change is that we were relying on a pre-order system. We have a lot more demand compared to our offering output. We’re going to switch to an instant ordering system” said Emmanuel Freund, co-founder and CEO. The Shadow computer currently has 5,000 customers (10x since December 2016), and Blade’s team is planning to reach 100,000 customers before then end of next year. They also plan to develop their own encryption system to improve users’ privacy.
Although the initial customer base is mostly composed of French gamers, Emmanuel Freund wants to reach a greater audience: “Everyone can benefit from Shadow’s advantages. This computer can go anywhere at anytime, and is always up-to-date“. Blade will launch its offer in Germany and United-Kingdom before the end of the year, and will open this summer new offices in Palo Alto, California.