The Digital Launch Pad takes off
Our support programme for startups, the OVH Digital Launch Pad, will soon celebrate its third birthday. Time to look at its achievements so far... Let’s start by looking at the numbers and picking out a couple of key figures. Of the 5,000 startups that applied to the programme, we have accepted more than 1,500. We have supported them in over 120 countries, with more than 500 hours of technical support. That says a lot, but it is not the greatest strength of our programme. The 1,500 startups involved are groups of entrepreneurs brought together by one shared desire: to get their businesses moving. For them, as for us, innovation is what drives progress, day after day.
It is impossible to talk about the programme without putting these startups at the forefront. We obviously can’t mention them all in this article, but we can highlight a couple that we are seeing develop and establish themselves in their respective markets.
Let’s look at ForePaaS first. It was founded, like the DLP, three years ago. Its founders – Paul Sinaï, Vincent Michel and François Vaillant – have built a multi-cloud data analytics platform. They have been able to attract major customers, including several companies in the French CAC 40 stock market index, as well as investors. In fact, they raised US$10 million in a fundraising round in December 2017. We have had the chance to meet them several times at OVH events, as well as external ones. In every discussion, one thing became clear: our shared values and vision of an open and transparent cloud.
CEO and co-founder Paul Sinaï explains: “Since OVH is our main cloud provider, it seemed natural to strengthen our connections, identify shared opportunities, and define and build services together that offer high added value. In practical terms, we use several OVH products to store data and build our solution: Dedicated Cloud, Public Cloud and Dedicated Servers.”
Read his full testimonial here.
This shared set of values can be found in all members and alumni of the DLP, like Prevision.io, co-founded two years ago by Tuncay Isik, Nicolas Gaude, Florian Laroumagne and Pierre Nowak. Their automated machine learning platform can be adapted to any market. It can be used to help a manufacturer predict when a fault will occur, and in which piece of equipment, thereby assisting preventive maintenance. Equally, It can help an e-commerce company predict how its customers will behave, or a bank to detect fraudulent transactions. They also managed to convince investors quickly, and raised €1.5 million in November 2017. A few weeks before their fundraising round, we had the opportunity to talk to them during the OVH Summit 2017. They were participating as finalists in the Digital Launch Pad Awards, which recognises the most innovative startups of the year.
As company co-founder Florian Laroumagne explains: “Prevision.io is a French startup and we really stand up for digital sovereignty. We have been selected by France IA [a French government initiative around artificial intelligence], and it’s extremely important for us to work with a French player like OVH.”
The Summit also offered us a chance to enjoy a conversation with Heuritech. Thanks to its visual recognition algorithm, this startup allows luxury and fashion brands to identify the purchasing trends that are emerging on the web and social networks with greater precision. After winning the LVMH prize at the 2017 VivaTech conference, Heuritech – whose founders have PhDs in artificial intelligence – also participated in the Digital Launch Pad Awards. Like ForePaaS and Prevision.io, Heuritech shares our commitment to data protection. Another reason they chose OVH was the ability to handle peak loads very quickly.
Paul Tonelli, Chief Architect Officer and Partner at Heuritech, explained: “This happened to us a few weeks ago: all of a sudden, we needed three servers. A few clicks and 120 minutes later, we had three extra servers on which to run our algorithm.”
Another startup that joined us at the Summit was Invenis, which focuses on machine learning for non-technical people. Their concept: offer customers a simple, high-performance solution that allows them to analyse and draw insights from their data in order to improve their business performance. At the moment, their organic growth enables them to finance themselves, but they plan to carry out a fundraising round to accelerate their development. They came across OVH via the Digital Launch Pad programme.
In an interview during VivaTech 2018, Gregory Serrano, co-founder and Chief Social Media Officer, said: “OVH believed in us and wanted to support us by helping us take advantage of their infrastructure, as well as their advice and guidance. And that, for a startup, is invaluable!”
Three years have passed since the launch of the DLP, and we are convinced that the next few years will be even richer in terms of the people we meet and the projects we share. At the end of the day, it’s the qualitative side that makes us proud. This is the kind of agility we wish to retain – to keep strengthening our relationships with startups and to continue innovating together.
Why did OVH launch the DLP?
OVH supports startups. What could be more logical? A few years ago, we were just like them. We know the obstacles that young, innovative companies face. We’ve been through every stage that they must now go through in order to grow. Above all, in the context of entrepreneurship, we know the extent to which each meeting can become an opportunity and every bit of support can help lead to success. This is what has enabled OVH to become a European unicorn company and consolidate its place among the global leaders in the cloud market.
The DLP programme, in line with our motto “Innovation for Freedom”, helps startups make the most of our cloud expertise with a year of free infrastructures and personalised technical support.