For web app development tools, Platform.sh wins $140 million

Many companies have the problem of dealing with the ever-increasing complexity of online infrastructure. IT teams have a slew of decisions while developing and delivering web applications, from determining which backend system to utilise to which framework to write in. Forty percent (40%) of developers say they’re dealing with growing consumer expectations, while 39% say they’re constrained by a lack of funds and other resources.

There isn’t a magic elixir. Fred Plais, on the other hand, claims that his platform, Platform.sh, may alleviate the burden of web app development by removing most of the underlying infrastructure. Today, Platform.sh secured a $140 million Series D round of financing headed by Digital Partners, which included participation from Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital, Revaia and BGV as well as Eurazeo, Hiinov and Partech. Platform.sh has now funded $187 million, which Plais says will be used to hire more people and “double down” on automation initiatives.

He co-founded Infoclic, a search engine for the French-speaking market, alongside Damien Tournoud and Ori Pekelman, and Commerce Guys, a Drupal-based e-commerce platform, before joining the Platform.sh team. Previously, Pekelman co-founded two consulting firms, Internet Patrol and Constellation Matrix, and he served on the board of directors of Commerce Guys. Commerce Guys was founded by Tournoud who worked as an IT strategy consultant at Fontaine Consultants.

To ease the lives of web developers, Plais established Platform.sh in 2015 with his colleagues Tournoud and Pekelman. For us, managing web infrastructure was a huge drain on our resources. We knew there was an efficient and cost-effective way to streamline the process. The cloud hasn’t gotten any easier in seven years. Due to the rise of containers, microservices, and the ever-present demand for quicker performance as well as the capacity to manage a larger number of applications, the complexity of cloud computing has only increased.”

Deploy and test web applications using Platform.sh’s tools.

OutSystems, a low-code tools company, recently conducted a study that showed the average time to deploy a web or mobile app in 2019 was more than five months for over half of firms. According to one estimate, the price ranges from $20,000 to $60,000, with the exact amount depending on the system’s capabilities.

Web and mobile applications may be produced in a variety of languages and frameworks utilising Platform.sh, which enables several development teams to collaborate on the same project. Data and procedures may be managed and replicated from a dashboard for testing and sharing with stakeholders by developers. Before being deployed across different cloud providers, ideas may be tested in a production environment and then refined. The platform automatically resolves build dependencies and tests while keeping track of infrastructure changes.

Following Heroku and Vercel are smaller rivals like Acquia and Netlify that Plais views as a threat to Platform.sh (the commercial arm for Drupal). Vercel just raised $150 million, which shows that web app development tools are in high demand, just as Netlify recently received $105 million. For $1 billion in 2019, Vista Equity Partners bought over Acquia, a private equity company.

Even with its financial disadvantage, Plais claims that Platform.sh is “very competitive,” with its support for a variety of web development options (such as frameworks) distinguishing it from its competitors.

Companies can develop, host, and grow websites and online applications using Platform.sh, which eliminates the need for IT and cloud operations, according to Plais. There are dozens or even hundreds of websites that need to be managed, and CIOs in particular are well aware of the time and resources necessary to do so. Instead of investing all of their ‘innovation tokens’ in the underlying equipment, IT executives who want to be in the driver’s seat but are on a budget will find Platform.sh to be an appropriate alternative.

When questioned about Platform.sh’s financials, Plais was refreshingly open. He said that the company’s current yearly recurring revenue is $45 million, up 50% from 2021. In addition to Adobe, Nestlé, the Financial Times, and the United States Chamber of Commerce, the company’s customers include colleges and governments, including the Army and Ministry of Culture in France.

Despite the fact that the market is likely to face some challenges, we are really well-positioned to take advantage of them. By keeping our costs down and focusing on long-term development, Plais stated, “We’ve always been thrifty and capital efficient as a firm.” A quarter of recruiting was put on hold early in the pandemic while we assessed the situation and made sure we could adjust our spending to the shifting market. In the end, that was probably the best decision at the moment — otherwise, we wouldn’t have been able to do our jobs.”

With an emphasis on North America and Western Europe, Platform.sh expects to grow from its current 340 workers to over 400 in the next year. The corporation has locations in France, Germany, the United States, and the United Kingdom.