Schnitger Corporation

Bentley ‘hits stride’ and $550m in revenue

NewsBentley Systems today gave a glimpse into how the company fared in 2012 and what it thinks 2013 will hold. Bentley is privately held so this disclosure is unusual but, as CEO Greg Bentley told us, his customers prefer a company without drama. It would appear that they also like disclosure.

Mr. Bentley provided the following update on the company’s progress in 2012:

Mr. Bentley made a point of telling us that 98% of the company is now owned by the Bentley family and colleagues (employees), up from 92% in early 2012 as a result of the stock buyback program discussed last year. Left unsaid were the reasons and benefits of such a program: better control, stronger motivation and higher rewards.

Bentley tracks utilization of its products and in 2012, it noted more than 1 million users in over 165 countries of its desktop apps and a total of near 2 million including users of Passports and iWare apps.

The company is about to announce a new licensing plan that will reset every quarter based on the prior quarter’s usage; the next generation of i-model, which is based on SQLite for mobile devices; Bentley Map for Android; and will soon release the OpenRoads platform that will unite the company’s disparate civil offerings. A new Navigator Mobile app is available today in the iTunes app store.

Mr. Bentley said that the company entered 2013 with significant momentum and utilization rates that are up 20% year/year. He expects revenue to grow 7% in 2013.

Today’s call was more relaxed than the last two. Mr. Bentley walked listeners through the prepared material and often used phrases like “we have an obligation to”, “in service [of]”, “useful”. He didn’t talk about selling but about partnering, making the point that Bentley doesn’t have customers (a one-time transaction) but subscribers (long-term relationships). He sets a unique tone in an industry that is often about selling stuff — and it’s clearly an approach that resonates with Bentley’s customers.

Note: Bentley publishes an “annual report” with this data and other information and made a review copy available to media and analysts. The final should be available soon and I’ll post a link once I get it.

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