Bentley Bets a Billion on Digital Twin Earth Modeling

The infrastructure engineering software firm is expected to pay more than $1 billion to acquire geological and geophysical modeling software developer Seequent.


Infrastructure engineering software firm Bentley Systems will pay about $1.05 billion in a cash-and-stock deal to purchase privately held geological and geophysical modeling software developer Seequent.

Bentley, which makes software for the design and construction of roads, bridges, buildings, and campuses, will buy Seequent from investors led by private-equity firm Accel-KKR for $900 million in cash and just over 3.1 million shares of Class B stock.

The acquisition of Seequent is expected to initially add about 10% to each of Bentley Systems’ key financial metrics and is expected to be measurably accretive to Bentley’s organic growth rate.

“We can be very confident about Seequent’s contribution to our shared future not only because of our product synergies, but because we recognize in Seequent’s trajectory an echo of the playbook that made Bentley Systems successful—except they have grown faster,” said Bentley’s chief executive Greg Bentley. “They have made farsighted decisions to benefit the future at every stage: identifying and then laser-focusing on the 3D “vertical” opportunity in earth modeling, institutionalizing a subscription commercial model from the outset, directly populating the appropriate global markets, acquiring and consolidating the best software for adjacent disciplines, and bringing it all together with cloud services, ready for digital twins advancement together.”

Upon closing, expected during the second quarter, Seequent will operate as a standalone Bentley subsidiary, with Seequent’s current Chief Operating Officer Graham Grant succeeding its retiring CEO Shaun Maloney, reporting to Bentley’s Chief Product Officer Nicholas Cumins.

Seequent’s products include Leapfrog, its leading product for 3D geological modeling and visualization, Geosoft for 3D earth modeling and geoscience data management, and GeoStudio for geotechnical slope stability and deformation modeling. Bentley’s complementary geotechnical engineering software portfolio, including PLAXIS, gINT, and OpenGround, will be integrated to support open digital workflows from borehole and drillhole data to geological models and geotechnical analysis applications.