On June 27, 2023, Octave Klaba, founder of OVHcloud, announced the creation of a new entity, Synfonium, which will acquire 100% of Qwant and 100% of Shadow. Jezby Ventures and Deep Code, the two investment funds of Octave Klaba and his brother Mirosław, will own 75% of Synfonium. Caisse des Dépôts will hold the remaining 25%.
Launched in 2013, Qwant is a French search engine focused on privacy and sovereignty. Octave Klaba had announced his interest in a takeover in early spring 2023. Meanwhile, Shadow, a French cloud computing service, was acquired by Jezby Ventures and Deep Code in 2021. All the announced transactions are expected to be finalized this summer, for a launch in the fall.
Octave Klaba wants to make Synfonium a sovereign European SaaS platform capable of competing with the American giants – just as OVH is posing as an alternative to AWS, Azure or Google Cloud. Like Microsoft 365 or Google Suite, Synfonium intends to offer “the search engine, free services, collaborative suite, social login, but also the services of our tech partners“.
The founder of OVH is keen to “integrate the entire EU tech ecosystem into the adventure“, by rallying Europe’s leading SaaS specialists to the project. The stated goal is to “make all this European tech visible and find users and customers for it“. Octave Klaba hopes to “create a critical mass of B2C & B2B users and customers who will be able to use all these free and paying services“.
“The road ahead is long, complex and costly, but there’s a real expectation to have our own platform in the SaaS cloud that respects our European values and laws,” summarizes Synfonium’s future CEO. “I don’t know whether we’ll achieve everything, or part of it, or nothing at all, but instead of saying that it’s impossible, that it’s hopeless, that we don’t have enough resources, we’re going to try,” he concludes.