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The story of Preset, what need do we fill, why did we start this project? A long story with many twists and turns.


The story of Preset, what need do we fill, why did we start this project? A long story with many twists and turns.

Our story: how it all began

Our company's story is one of passion, innovation and perseverance to make a positive impact on the world.

But before we look at how we got here, let's start at the beginning. It all starts with our founder, Antoine.  Since he was a child, he spent hours playing all kinds of games, fascinated by the fantastic worlds and epic adventures he could experience. But as he grew older, he realised that his computer was no longer keeping up with him, and that he couldn't enjoy his favourite pastime as he used to.

That's when a friend told him about Shadow, a young French startup that could turn his old PC into a powerful gaming machine using the power of the cloud. Intrigued, Antoine decided to test the service and was immediately won over. At last, he could play all his favourite games with exceptional image quality and unequalled fluidity.

For several years, Antoine had enjoyed using Shadow, but he had come to realise that the service had its limitations. Streaming cuts were becoming more and more frequent, and performance was not keeping up with the most demanding games, such as Star Citizen, his favourite game. So he started looking for an alternative, but he couldn't find one that really met his expectations.

Then the idea came to him: what if he created the perfect gaming computer himself, based on Shadow and adding the features he was looking for? He had always had a passion for technology, and had a background in computer science, so he started working on his project, with the goal of creating a cloud-based computer solution that would surpass all others.

Winner of the Neo Prize

But even though it was just a project to play Star Citizen, Preset won the Neo prize in the Petit Poucet competition, a real accolade. We had been rewarded for our creativity, our technology and our sense of innovation.

However, things were about to get complicated. The chairman of the jury, an experienced entrepreneur, had taken Antoine under his wing and explained to him the reality of the market. Making cloud-based machines profitable for gamers was not easy, and the market was already largely dominated by Shadow, the startup that had inspired Preset.

He had taken this warning seriously, but he was not discouraged. A gamer first and foremost, he knew that the PC gamer market was huge, and that there was still plenty of room for new and innovative solutions. So he decided to continue his project, focusing on constantly improving his products and services and looking for new ways to innovate.

He had built a small team of talented engineers, with whom he had developed several prototypes of machines in the cloud. They had tested many configurations, optimised performance, and worked hard to deliver a prototype that was second to none.

Preset's first steps on Kickstarter

For our business to grow and develop, we needed funding. A few investors were already behind us, but they needed more market evidence to see that the solution worked.

That's when the idea came to the team: what if we went on Kickstarter, the crowdfunding platform, to raise money and show the reliability of our project through pre-orders? Now they just had to convince gamers around the world that Preset was the best solution for playing in the cloud.

Preset's first Kickstarter campaign was launched in June 2022, with a goal of €45,000. We did our best to promote the campaign, using all the communication channels at our disposal, but unfortunately, we failed. Pre-orders were not forthcoming and the target was not reached.

This was a blow to the team, who had put all their heart into the project. But we decided not to let it get us down, and to take into account the feedback from users to improve their solution and go back on Kickstarter.

We had worked tirelessly for months, fine-tuning every detail, listening to user feedback, and constantly improving the solution. And finally, we were ready to launch another crowdfunding campaign, this time with a more modest goal of €15,000.

The team had launched the campaign with confidence, knowing that our campaign was more successful. The campaign was a great success, with nearly 64 000€ raised in total. Pre-orders were pouring in, with players from all over the world praising the Preset solution.

It was a victory for Preset. We were convinced that this was just the beginning of a great adventure that would change the gaming industry.

A change of strategy

Preset's life had taken a new turn. After the great Kickstarter adventure, the company had decided to change direction. There were many reasons for this: a component crisis due to the Covid19 pandemic, inflation in France due to the price of electricity and the war in Ukraine, team fatigue and reorganisation.

But the main reason was the takeover of our main competitor Shadow by OVHcloud, a French hosting company. This judicial liquidation had shown how unstable the cloud and tech world was, and that companies had to be able to adapt quickly to market changes.

Preset could no longer continue to offer such low prices for individuals, and had to rethink its strategy to remain competitive. The goal was now to focus on the business world, offering high-performance workstations with key features such as integrations, the ability to switch between Windows and macOS, and the built-in Drive.

For the whole team, this is a new beginning, a new adventure, which will allow us to continue to innovate, create and change the world in our own way. This will allow us to offer the service that our users expect so much and to be able to last over time without completely abandoning the world of gaming, and perhaps one day launch a version of Preset specially designed for gamers... To be continued.

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