3 on a Friday: Bentley exits Russia, Mastercam holds a contest and the NYT says VC funding mixed

Jul 8, 2022 | Hot Topics

Was it a very long week for you, too? In the US, it started horribly, but it hasn’t been great in a lot of places. I hope you and yours are safe and that the sun is shining.

Anyway, a few bits to send you into your weekend:

Bentley announced that it’s withdrawing from the Russian market, saying that “marked shifts in the Russian business environment and economic outlook have led us to conclude it is no longer viable for Bentley Systems to continue operations in Russia. Accordingly, we have made the decision to wind down business and exit the Russian market.” In March, Bentley said that Russia contributes less than 1% of total revenue, but I imagine we’ll see impacts like what Sandvik announced — one-time charges due to the exit. Financials aside–and we’ll learn more when Bentley announces Q2 results in a few weeks– this is a big deal. Russian engineering firms have been among Bentley’s most advanced, using Bentley technology to build enormous oil platforms in Arctic ice, and refineries in the tundra. They’ve usually occupied some of the top slots in the Year in Infrastructure / Going Digital awards. I believe this year’s awards are still taking nominations, so …

The New York Times says VC funding fell 23% over the last three months — the steepest decline since 2019. The piece also notes, “in the first six months of the year, start-up sales and initial public offerings — the primary ways these companies return cash to investors — plummeted 88 percent, to $49 billion, from a year ago.” Gloomy no? But all is not lost: “Investors continue to do deals, funding 4,457 transactions in the last three months, up 4 percent from a year ago … Venture capital firms … are also still raising large new funds that can be deployed into young companies, collecting $122 billion in commitments so far this year.” As I wrote earlier in the week, the fact that financial companies aren’t investing at their previous levels may actually be good news for strategic buyers, like PLM or CAE vendors.

And because we desperately need some fun: Mastercam announced that it’s looking for your wildest parts, designed with Mastercam. According to the submission criteria: “We are looking for eye-catching items that will demonstrate the many impressive and creative things that can be made with Mastercam.” There are cash prizes for the winners but all entrants get a T-shirt. Go on, enter!