3+1 on a Friday: Centric acquires, Rescale gets more funding, Sandvik expands its software offerings

Dec 3, 2021 | Hot Topics

A busy week or so to catch up on:

Centric Software, the majority-owned-by-Dassault Systèmes maker of PLM solutions for fashion, retail and similar industries has acquired Armonica Retail, which makes cloud-native retail planning solutions. Armonica offers everything from merchandise financial planning, range planning, assortment planning and buying, store allocation and replenishment, forecasting, and vendor replenishment, to wholesale planning and forecasting. Chris Groves, Centric CEO, said in prepared remarks that “Armonica’s … retail planning solution, coupled with Centric PLM and backed by deep retail expertise, will be an invaluable asset to fashion, luxury, outdoor and other consumer goods companies, offering them unparalleled visibility and decision-making abilities across multiple levels of planning and execution.” No terms were disclosed and it appears to be a done deal.

Rescale announced that it has closed a $105 million Series C funding round to support business growth. The company has raised more than $150 million in funding to date. Rescale said that it has seen a “dramatic acceleration in customer demand, investor interest and market momentum …. With year-over-year sales growing over 2x in 2021, Rescale is accelerating the digital transformation of the computational science and engineering discipline, which has traditionally been on-premises in private data centers but is rapidly shifting to cloud.”

Sandvik announced last week that it will acquire ICAM Technologies Corporation, makers of solutions for post-processing, machine simulation, and tool-path optimization.  The purchase price was not announced but Sandvik says that in 2020, iCAM had revenue of approximately SEK 30 million (US$3.3 million or so at current exchange rates). The transaction is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2021 and, once complete, iCAM will be part of Sandvik Coromant, a division within the larger Manufacturing and Machining Solutions division. Then, this week, Sandvik said it was acquiring Deswik, a maker of mine planning software “with more than 10,000 current licences” and trailing twelve-month revenue of revenue (through October 2021) of Australian $79 million (US $56 million). Sandvik says “Deswik’s … software suite combined with Sandvik’s digital and automation offering creates a clear world leader in digital solutions for the mining industry. Combining Deswik’s skills in mine planning and scheduling with our equipment and automation expertise will open new opportunities for optimizing our customers’ mining value chain”. You can see more about Sandvik’s mining ambitions here, in an investor presentation about the acquisition.

And the other thing: this week, news made it into media that I see (scientists have been on this for far longer) about two antiviral drug therapies for COVID. Molnupiravir (by Merck) and Paxlovid (from Pfizer) are pills that someone who tests positive for COVID takes over five days. This can be at home, freeing up hospital space and lessening the fear we all feel when we think about actually catching COVID. It turns COVID into something far more manageable. And, while not cheap, here in the US, there’s a move to have the full cost of these treatments covered by insurance. That’s public policy — I want to quickly talk about the science. Back in the day, a diagnosis of HIV/AIDS was a death sentence. Then came antiviral drugs that stopped that virus from replicating, allowing people to live normal lives. According to The Altlantic article linked above, that took something like 15 years to figure out; the COVID antivirals took … 18 months. And, according to a New York Times newsletter that I cannot figure out how to link to for you, the COVID antivirals “do not attack the part of the virus that changes most with each new variant: the spike protein. That’s why scientists expect the treatments will work even as the virus evolves.” So, blazingly-fast science (that undoubtedly built on everything that came before, but still). Tens of millions of pills will be available in the next few months, scaling rapidly to several times that by the end of 2022– so, manufacturing innovation too. As Dr. Monica Gandhi of the University of California said in the Times piece, this is “a huge deal.” Go, science!