From video games to the professional public, the transformation of Shadow

Eighteen months after its takeover by the boss of the French cloud giant OVH, Octave Klaba, Shadow confirms its transformation, as its leaders pointed out on Wednesday, November 23. At the time, in May 2021, the company founded in 2015, which was still called Blade, was known for its “cloud gaming” solutions (cloud gaming): a subscription-based solution that allowed video game enthusiasts to use remote machines with great computing power rather than regularly buying state-of-the-art machines.

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This was innovative for the time, but failed to generate enough revenue to keep the company afloat, with the case ending up in the Paris Commercial Court, which preferred the Roubaisien’s offer to that of Xavier Niel, the boss of Free (also an individual shareholder of the World).

Arrived at the helm of the company following this takeover, Eric Sèle, while saying his ” respect “ for the initial project of the company, believes that it was not viable: “The 13 euro offer proposed at the time did not make it possible to earn money. Today, we want to build a profitable business”. One of his first decisions at the head of the company was to raise the price of subscriptions. For the most assiduous gamers, it now costs 45 euros per month.

“More and more powerful solutions”

For the past eighteen months, Shadow’s objective has been to broaden the range of its products and its customers in order to obtain better profitability. The company wants to address in particular a professional public, whose uses require great computing power (work on 3D, 4K, virtual reality, etc.) for a subscription at 139 euros per month. On the side of the general public, the company seeks to develop in the educational sector, and particularly in universities. ” We invest in more and more powerful solutions and we monetize them »explains Eric Sèle.

After having lifted the veil on a storage solution (free up to 20 gigabytes, then at 8.99 euros per month up to 2 terabytes), it aims to develop a complete range of services for professionals including, for example, the video conferencing or messaging services. It also says it is open to hosting external solutions on its platform. “We want to create a leader who resists our friends across the Atlantic, but not create a new bloc”explains the leader, in an allusion to American players such as Google or Microsoft.

Present in fourteen countries, the company intends to continue to develop its geographic footprint, relying on OVH, which now hosts all its servers.

There is no question of abandoning the video game. “We will keep this segment, because it is historically our core business [avec 70 000 usagers du service], that it has enormous potential and that it is aimed at a population of evangelists”. However, Mr. Sèle expects that Shadow will have “a large part of its activity within two to three years” in the professional world, and increasingly abroad. Present in fourteen countries, the company intends to continue to develop its geographical influence, relying in particular on OVH, which now hosts all its servers.

Eric Sèle believes that the situation of the company, which achieved more than 20 million in turnover in 2022, is healthy. The workforce has also been increased to 160 employees, with a turnover rate of 60% within the management team. Without claiming today that Shadow is profitable, the leader sets a course: “To get where we want to be, we will have to invest, but we do not intend to lose money for ten years”.

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