Technology Asset Yard Sale

A couple of weeks ago, both Right Hemisphere and Anark announced the sell-off of their gaming divisions. While the similar timing for two separate companies to make such division sales is coincidental, it is interesting to see that they are both abandoning their core and founding technologies. And the more interesting observation is about the sales themselves. Whenever a privately-held company restructures, or divests, there are always some interesting questions to ask about the action. Certainly if a company is meeting and exceeding their sales and profitability goals, the equity holders and investors are going to be happy and are not going to be interested in interfering and in selling off assets and divisions of the company.

Indeed, it begs the question as to why these two companies have done this. Is it a revenue problem, with a need to re-focus the sales force on a single product in hopes of generating some market traction? Is it a cash flow crisis, and a need to sell off assets to improve the balance sheet? Is it a cleansing of operations, to align the company structure and make it more attractive to a potential new investor or buyer? However you imagine it, what it does say is that these companies are trying to re-invent and simplify themselves, at a time when Dassault Systèmes is expanding and looking to further proliferate 3D into many new domains.

And as if to answer my prayers to know more about these actions, this week we are presented with some more information about these sales. Hallelujah!

In an interview with Cadaylst, Anark CEO explains why they took the company away from their core gaming platform, moved into a new business, and then ditched their gaming division to NVIDIA (as the rumor has it). He even says that: “…straddling the fence requires a lot of duplicate efforts to manage multiple properties, sales efforts, and marketing communication programs.” Translation: they were spending a lot of dough with not a lot of results. So clearly it was a move to re-focus the sales operations and to infuse much-needed cash to build this new business into the “enterprise 3D CAD-PLM and visualization division”. Great idea! We’ve always said that visualization does not add any value, and should ALWAYS be free. And there’s nothing like a having new competitor in the free visualization space! Best of luck.

As for Right Hemisphere, they announced a tighter partnership with SAP. That’s no real surprise, considering SAP Ventures owns a stake in the company. Perhaps this restructuring is a courting move by Right Hemisphere to get purchased by SAP? Or a requirement dictated by the potential acquirer? Right Hemisphere CEO explains this “on-going and evolving relationship” in their bright, pithy, and exceptionally interesting blog. (Ok, that is a sarcastic stretch… but for a really good rant on Right Hemisphere you should read this blog post by our former head of marketing). Regardless, it sounds to me like they are prepping to be bought by SAP. Time will tell.

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