"Europe's digital economy must be built on a European foundation"
I can only agree with that.
Enough with sending data to the USA !
A Swedish startup called Evroc has declared ambitious plans to build a pan-European cloud platform to take on American heroes Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft's Azure. Founded in 2022 to "power a digital Europe," the biz has backing from EQT Ventures and Norrsken VC, and wants to raise €3 billion ($3.2 billion) to build …
If we only knew just how much Microsoft is shipping overseas.
I have found some interesting stuff, but I think I will first collect more evidence and have it verified independently before I go public with that. I may involve noyb, just to be safe.
No, it ain't Max, I wish.
That said, I may just study law after I retire. Not to practice, but to better poek holes in the Terms people ram down our throat without any consequence.
Personally I think that there ought to be a threshold for accountability. First off does it leave small developers untouched (read: leaves innovation in play, because the big boys tend to no longer bother, or steal it from the independents), secondly it places obligations on the players hauling boatloads of cash out of their users.
Anyway, back to the grind :)
"The lack of home-grown hyperscale cloud providers poses a serious challenge for Europe,“
This particular business, Evroc, is going to fail and burn a dumpster full of cash along with it. I know this, not because there is an intrinsic reason why Europe can’t have a successful home-grown cloud provider. But instead, purely on the basis that it’s CEO chose *this flag-waving statement* as his banner headline. This simply is not the way his corporate customers do decision-making. Perhaps a couple of the EU client-state corporates like Airbus, VW, but that’s not enough to make a business.
If he’d said….”our unique technology allow us to use the hardware more efficiently [eg analogous to CXL], providing the customer lower costs”; “we have access to unique state guarantees of connection to electricity generation…. providing lower costs to the customer”; “we’ve negotiated unique business/technical deals with important software providers like SAP, Oracle, which allow us reduce license-cost/use hardware more efficiently….ultimately providing lower costs to the customer”.
You get the picture. That would be an actual business, not monkey-see-monkey-do. Building a business is hard: if everyone could do it, they would.
Our infrastructure and setup mean that you can be confident that you won't be breaking the law on data protection.
That's actually worth quite a bit, and is something that would influence my purchase of a product that insisted on cloud infrastructure.
I disagree, I suspect they'll make a serious mint once they're online.
There has always been an argument for the EU to enforce privacy regulations on the use of performance front ends, because you're essentially shipping possibly sesitive data via a US facility. Yes, they'll make fine talk that it's all safe, but they cannot change their local law, which conflicts with EU requirements. At present that has been *cough* "overlooked" *cough* because there were no EU alternatives to protect yourself from malicious actors flooding your site. The moment these guys go live it actually enables the EU now to act, and that means anyone who needs such a front end will either switch, or will be forced to switch later because of enforcement.
If my investments were not late coming through I would have done this myself already, but I am actually happy someone else is doing it because it means I can refocus on core - we will probably become a major client once we're online.
And…..then what’s the moat against my new JustTheFacts cloud company? I incorporate tomorrow, HQ’d in EU, we procure identical servers to Evroc, same NICs, same backbone, near identical software stacks, electricity price is country dependent, and at the scale we’re talking about our staffing costs are near identical. It’s a *perfect commodity*. Basic economics tells you that we bid each other down to zero profit margin PDQ, and negative margin soon after.
The only way to win this game is to find an edge where your underlying costs truly are lower. And you trumpet what your edge is to the roof, because then your customers understand that you will be last man standing, and nobody wants to be handing their data over to the bankrupt loser.
So why is AWS winning? Simple. Their costs *are* lower. Why? Because the whole raison d’etre of Cloud is that technical economies of scale (efficiency of hardware utilisatiion) is better than on-prem. [if you don’t believe that, you’re not in the cloud business anyway]. The bigger you are, the lower your costs. Hence, AWS continue winning because they were first in, and are larger. The only ways to win against AWS are: be bigger than AWS (not credible), or innovate yourself a cost edge on the technology. No, I don’t know what that could be. Otherwise you just haven’t earned yourself a place at the table.
The part you're missing comparing home grown to AWS is, home grown is there, AWS is US, and as soon as there is a viable EU provider the EU will likely start vigorously auditing companies that do business with US providers and fining them on per-bit basis when data is mishandled. It won't take long before using a European provider is the only way to go for European companies. I also doubt multiple providers will price themselves into bankruptcy. What will happen is many will start, then eventually they'll merge until there are 2 or 3 providers.
And yet, the actual story is that this was a funding round on 6th June, when strangely you could buy 20% of a $3bn venture for a bargain price of $13M
But turns out that’s only half of it. The two VCs were EQT and Norrsken.
EQT has, errr…not a good investment track record. To put it mildly. In January 2021, their share price was 2.38. By January 2023, they’d lost 90% of their value. Since then, they’ve lost another 50%, most of it on 22nd March when their shareholders discovered their plan to pay $13M for this company. The residual total value in EQTec is £19M, so they’re basically all-in on this, having pissed away over $150M on half a dozen other startups that all went bankrupt within two years after they invested.
Norrsken…..is not an investor in the classic sense. They don’t have a profit motive. They are a “social impact fund”, originally founded as a hobby by the guy who started Klarna. But now it largely comprises “loans” from the European Investment Fund and European Investment Bank. It’s taxpayer funded, but not out of the committed national funds. Rather this is money where, if the loan goes sour, member states must fund a surprise extra “contribution” from nowhere. You might wonder WTF, how is the EU funding tech VCs from money they don’t even have. Wonder away, wonder away.
The data centers are the easy part - all the software and services, and balancing convenience with security - that's the hard part.
However, US companies are laying off loads of workers, many highly talented, while focusing on profit taking, so that might be an opportunity to both pick up some talent and to edge in at a better price.
According to Tech Crunch:
Google Cloud may be chasing Amazon and Microsoft in the cloud game, but it has something big to boast about after earnings came out today. The company has turned a profit on its cloud unit for the first time since it began reporting cloud income several years ago. The company reported cloud revenue of $7.4 billion in Q12023, that’s up from $5.8 billion in the year ago period, up 27.5%. But that growth is not the primary news nugget here. The company also reported an operating income loss of $706 million a year ago. This year it reported a $191 million gain. That’s huge for a company that has struggled in third place in the cloud market.
Which indicates just how hard it is and also that this is might be the time to try.
Disclosure: I'm driving a 25 year old Volvo.
Came here to write exactly this fact.
The data centers is the easy part. The software side is order(s?) of magnitude more difficult: hypervisor, networking, APIs to manage all that and a UI for it too. And then the *really* difficult stuff: all the SaaS like databases etc - AWS has dozens of these.
It's all this software that makes the "cloud". Not the data center, those have been around for several decades.
So are they perhaps just renting bare metal/VPS; or perhaps even throw OpenStack on it to be able to call it a "cloud"?
The naivety of the guy in charge seems to be staggering -- or perhaps it's just reported in a way that makes it look so. I'd wager for the former.