French startup Blade, known for its cloud gaming platform Shadow, held a press conference to announce the completion of a $33 million round of venture capital investment. The funding will be used to support new developments toward its main product, where the company hopes that reducing its entry subscription cost will help drive new users to the platform.
Shadow cloud gaming platform
“We were the first to show that cloud gaming works. Others have followed us,” said Shadow Co-Founder Emmanuel Freund in a release. “Now it’s up to us to show that we remain pioneers, innovators, in terms of the technology, and proud to show the values of a French startup to the world.”
The round of funding was led by venture capital firm Serena Capital, along with an existing investor in Wind Energy Holding (WEH) Founder Nick Suppipat. Earlier this year, the company also raised money from American computer hard disk drive manufacturer Western Digital (NASDAQ: WDC), along with telecommunications and mass media company Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR). Blade has now raised a total of $111.6 million in venture capital.
The Shadow cloud gaming platform offers users a gaming PC in a data centre for a monthly subscription fee. However, users can also use it to run things that are graphics processing unit (GPU) intensive like video or photo editing programs.
The company has announced a partnership with French cloud computing company OVH. OVH will handle Shadow’s infrastructure and become the company’s cloud hosting partner, with new servers on OVH data centres. Freund has also stepped down from his role as CEO to a head of strategy position at Blade, with former OVH VP of Operations for America Jérôme Arnaud taking over.
Lowering price against competitors
Instead of the current single configuration plan available at $35 per month, the platform wants to move to a three-tiered option of Boost, Ultra, and Infinite. Each tier offers a different graphics card, CPU, amount of RAM and storage. Boost will be offered at £12.99/£14.99 ($16.8/$19.4 USD), Ultra at £24.99/£29.99 ($32.4/$38.9 USD), and Infinite at £39.99/£49.99 ($51.8/$64.8 USD) per month, with the lower price offered for yearly subscriptions.
With the upcoming launch of Google’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Stadia platform, Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) progress on Project xCloud, and Nvidia’s (NASDAQ: NVDA) already released GeForce NOW service, Shadow needs to set itself apart from competitors. The cloud gaming platform was one of the first available, allowing its users to do more than just gaming, and is accessible on any device. However, there are currently only 70,000 customers across eight countries, and Shadow hopes to get to a million subscribers in the future.