Bentley’s ProjectWise collaboration platform is proving a catalyst for strong growth in emerging markets such as China and Africa, the company claimed today (9 May 2018).
In a corporate update call with journalists, Bentley Systems CEO Greg Bentley gave an overview of the company’s recent performance, supported by CFO David Hollister and chief product officer Bhupinder Singh. Such calls have been reinstituted following a hiatus after the company announced in July 2015 that it was considering an IPO. For the avoidance of doubt, Greg Bentley said the company was “not currently working on or waiting for an IPO”. In the meantime, around a third of the company staff had the option of dealing in the company’s shares on NASDAQ’s Private Market, and, partly as a result of such dealings, ‘co-venture’ partner Siemens has accumulated a 9% share in the company’s voting stock, Bentley said.
The US-based but increasingly international provider of software for infrastructure project delivery and operation said it was on track to surpass an annual revenue runrate of US$700 million during 2018. A growing proportion of its revenues continues to derive from subscription income, and the company successfully limits ‘churn’, retaining around 98% of its subscribers, Greg Bentley said.
Product performance highlights included annual revenue runrate growth of approximately 20% or more for brands including ProjectWise. As outlined in October 2017, this ‘workhorse for work sharing’ is past the tipping point in its transition from on-premise to being cloud-based (today Greg Bentley said it was now “increasingly a hybrid cloud service”), and the update call highlighted ProjectWise’s use by 43 of the ENR top 50 design forms (and 325 of the top 640). And there remains a substantial scope for adoption of Bentley’s AssetWise among the world’s leading infrastructure owners, the company said.
Geographical highlights included 20% annual revenue runrate growth in China (repeatedly stressed as a key Bentley market, evidenced by both software adoption – “it’s industrialising BIM” – and by entrants to, and winners of, the company’s annual Year In Infrastructure Awards) and in Africa. In questions, CFO David Hollister attributed the company’s success in these two regions to ProjectWise, describing it as a “door-opener” and a “catalyst” for growth.
With the company consistently profitable, it was able to fund acquisitions from cashflow, Greg Bentley said, highlighting recent deals (news release) to acquire Delft, Netherlands-based geotechnical software provider, Plaxis, and SoilVision, a soil engineering software provider based in Saskatchewan, Canada.
Bentley’s Year in Infrastructure conference will be in London again in October 2018,* returning to Singapore in 2019 as it continues to cultivate China and the rest of the Asian market.
(Disclosure: I have received travel, accommodation and meals from Bentley Systems to attend successive YII conferences, and have been invited to the October 2018 edition.)