5 on a Friday: Physna secures investment, AVEVA extends OSI timeline, SAP, AspenTech, and 3D printed organs

Jan 29, 2021 | Hot Topics

A busy, busy week. Here, a quick roundup of what I found interesting this week:

  1. Physna closed a $20 million Series B funding round led by Sequoia Capital. Physna uses artificial intelligence (AI) and 3D examination to codify 3D models to create 3D search solutions. Drive Capital, which led Physna’s Series A round in 2019, also participated in the B round. Sequoia partner Shaun Maguire joins Physna’s board of directors with this latest round. The current round brings the company’s total funding to $29 million.
  2. AVEVA said it still hasn’t received the approval of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) for its acquisition of OSIsoft. As a result, AVEVA, OSISoft and its founder, and other parties to the deal have extended the timeline by “up to 45 days” to allow more time for review and discussion with CFIUS. It doesn’t sound like there’s a problem, just slow processing of the deal.
  3. SAP reported Q4 results that were in line with what the company preannounced last week. Non-IFRS revenue was €7.5 billion, down 2% in constant currencies (cc) from a year earlier. Cloud revenue was up 13% cc to €2 billion, Total cloud and software revenue was up 1% cc to €6.6 billion. SAP’s outlook for 2021 is unchanged, with cloud revenue expected to be up 13% to 18%. It wasn’t all earnings at SAP — did you catch the RISE with SAP launch? It’s SAP’s latest effort to get customers to move to its S/4HANA Cloud, wrapping cloud services, best practices, AI, and more into one offer for specific business processes. The company also announced the acquisition of Signavio, in the business process management space, and spun out Qualtrics in a hugely successful IPO. I suggest a long winter’s nap.
  4. AspentTech announced December quarter results, too. Total revenue was $234 million, up 85%. License revenue (the upfront bit, per ASC 606) was $180 million, up 150%, while maintenance revenue (the long tail) was $47 million, up 5%. The huge news of the release was CEO Antonio Pietri saying that “customers continued to make substantial long-term commitments with AspenTech, including a renewal in excess of $75 million with one of the largest global oil companies making it one of the biggest transactions in our history.” The core engineering and supply chain businesses performed well in the quarter but the company missed its targets in a number of other important metrics and is hosting an investor day in two weeks to explain it all.
  5. In exciting news of a vaguely PLMish nature, 3D Systems announced a “breakthrough in bioprinting technology” this week in manufacturing human organs for transplant using 3D printing of something called solid-organ scaffolds. 3D Systems says its “Print to Perfusion” process can bring “full size, vascularized, rapid, micron-level scaffolds on which to perfuse living human cells to grow functioning human organs”, which has “the potential to enable novel laboratory testing methods to accelerate the development of new drug therapies while reducing the need for animal testing.” It sounds like a twofer: organs for people who desperately need them, plus extras for drug and therapy development. The stuff of science fiction brought to life. Incredible.

Have a great weekend!