Bentley Systems wants to be the premier ride for infrastructure engineers. The company's computer-aided design (CAD) software is used to design and build large-scale infrastructure projects such as airports, transit and utilities systems, manufacturing plants, and buildings. Available on both a subscription basis (about three-quarters of revenue) and as a perpetual license, Bentley's software lets architects, engineers, builders, and property owners collaborate over the Web to develop and maintain projects. The company also offers content management applications, as well as consulting, integration, and training. It largely serves the architecture, construction, engineering, and utilities industries worldwide.
Bentley offers its products under three basic platforms: MicroStation, (infrastructure design and modeling), ProjectWise (engineering project team collaboration), and, formed in 2010, AssetWise (infrastructure asset information management).
The company earns more than half of its revenue outside the United States. It operates in 50 countries across Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia, and Europe and sees usage of its products from customers in some 165 countries.
Bentley reported 2014 revenue of about $625 million, up 7% from the prior year and the fifth consecutive year of sales growth. Subscription revenue was 76% of the total. Enterprise subscriptions (now numbering 285) bring in about 26% of revenue.
Partnerships are key to the company’s growth. In late 2012 it announced collaborations with Siemens (digital factory infrastructure), highway and transportation department association AASHTO (bridge management and inspection), Trimble (infrastructure project site management), and mobile software and hardware provider 3D-P (mining equipment maintenance management).
Mergers and Acquisitions
Bentley also relies on acquisitions to expand its product lines and its customer base. Recent acquisitions have focused on foreign markets.
Bentley acquired Acute3D, a company based in France that provides Smart3DCapture software for reality modeling. Across the English Channel, the bought C3global, a supplier of web-based Amulet software for operational analytics. Added to Bentley’s AssetWise platform, the software delivers more insights as asset performance management.
Closer to home, Bentley acquired Charlotte, N.C.-based BLUERIDGE Analytics, Inc. The company develops SITEOPS, a site design optimization software that uses cloud-based computing techniques for site development professionals to sort through engineering alternatives and their costs.
Bentley added to its cloud services with the acquisition of EADOC, provider of construction management cloud services, in 2015. The addition to Bentley’s MANAGEservices offerings helps project managers to reduce risk and staff hours, improve information quality, and provide owners with visibility into costs.
Bentley Systems was founded in 1984 by the Bentley brothers - Scott, who went on to found underwater camera manufacturer VideoRay, current officers Keith, Barry, and Raymond. A fifth brother, Greg, joined his siblings at the company in 1991 and became CEO in 2000. The Bentley family owns 98% of Bentley Systems' equity.