Kima-backed Clever Cloud launches PaaS cloud service

Oct 17, 2012
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Today is a very big day for Clever Cloud, the Nantes based PaaS cloud startup we introduced you to earlier this year.  After two years of  research and development, they are launching their PaaS cloud computing service, which distinguishes itself in the cloud compputing space by offering scaleable and automatic performance and a pay-as-you-go payment model.  In addition, their new service is comprehensive in the sense that is able to support multiple languages (i.e. PHP, Java, Ruby and Scala), thus requiring no code modification in order to be compatible with Clever Cloud’s service.

As mentioned in our interview with Clever Cloud earlier this year, at the moment, the PaaS market in France is largely dominated by US players, such Google App Engine and, particularly, Amazon Web Services.  Although there are many small players in the European PaaS market, an equivalent alternative to these big providers has not yet emerged.  Clever Cloud is, of course, looking to change all that.  Their offer is squarely targeted at all app developers, especially web agencies and SaaS editors.  One of the pain points for app developers that Clever Cloud is seeking to directly address is that developers often end up paying more than they actually consume in terms of bandwidth, storage, computing power, and electricity.  To address that problem, they developed a ‘drops’ based billing model whereby each drop represents an amount of consumed computer energy that essentially becomes the means for determingng what the client pays. To better manage and monitor the energy they consume, app developers can either monitor their ‘drops’ on their own or have Clever Cloud do so, ultimately removing the burder of hosting managment from the app developer.  This approach to hosting management and pricing should enable Clever Cloud to differentiate itself from other emerging PaaS providers and give companies, particularly startups and PMEs, a very interesting and compelling alternative to the established PaaS giants.

In a second piece of exciting news, Clever Cloud also announced that they’ve raised a seed round with Jeremie Berrebi’s and Xavier Niel’s Kima Ventures.  Kima Ventures has been a very active and vital investor in seed / early stage startups, where they strive to invest in 1 – 2 startups every week around the world. They’ve been particularly active in France where they’ve invested in everything from online sales chat services (iAdvize) to social payments (Leetchi.com) to ecommerce support solutions (Lengow) to email apps (Sparrow, who’s recent exit may have been viewed by Kima as a bit precipitous).  This investment in Clever Cloud, which has a great ambitious team and a solid product, is a smart one, particularly given the growth of the cloud space in France (projected to reach €3 billion by 2016) and the desire for a credible alternative to the larger American providers.  In addition, Xavier Niel’s Iliad, which is emerging as a leader in the crowded hosting space offers Clever Cloud the possibility of partnership opportunites in France and, eventually, abroad.

Bouyed by the launch and the Kima investment, Quentin Adam, Clever Cloud’s charismatic CEO is bullish as ever. As mentioned in our initial article, Quentin is looking to shake up the cloud space in France, Europe and beyond.  While he wants to establish a strong position in the French market, his ambitions don’t stop there.  Within the next year, he’s looking to expand both throughout Europe and to the US.