Geo Week News

April 6, 2023

Bentley Systems announces strategic agreement with Worldsensing

The agreement involves an acquisition, funding, and each company become a preferred partner for the other.

Last month, infrastructure engineering software company Bentley Systems announced a new non-exclusive strategic agreement with Internet of Things (IoT) specialist Worldsensing. The commercial agreement, per the joint announcement of the news, aims to “strategically accelerate the adoption of infrastructure IoT, further unlocking value for infrastructure designers, constructors, and owner-operators in their use of infrastructure digital twins.” 

There are a few moving pieces going in each direction as part of this agreement, but the headliner would seem to be that Worldsensing is acquiring the sensemetrics Thread connectivity business from Bentley, adding to the former’s hardware offerings for their customers. Additionally, Bentley is the leader of Worldsensing’s recent successful Series D investment round in which they raised €6 million, with the funding also including participation from McRock Capital, ETF Partners, and Endra Capital. And finally, also as part of this agreement, Worldsensing will become a preferred sensor connectivity partner to Bentley, while Bentley will become a preferred IoT software partner to Worldsensing, “offering mutual users a best-in-class fully integrated end-to-end sensor management solution.”

There’s certainly a lot to unpack here, but it makes sense to start with the Worldsensing part of this and their acquisition of the Thread connectivity business. Worldsensing specializes in providing a number of different sensors for civil infrastructure monitoring and more, and the Thread is a logical addition to those offerings as a way to provide high-end connectivity between sensors, and offers multiple modes of communication including long-range wireless, cellular, and ethernet. Per Worldsensing’s website, their new acquisition is “the ideal complement to Worldsensing’s long-range, low-power solutions portfolio, geared towards customers who need broadband sensor connectivity for dynamic, high-power, or high-speed industrial project scenarios.”

It’s also interesting from the Bentley perspective as they continue to strengthen their position in the infrastructure intelligence space. We know that digital twins are not only valuable during the construction process, and can actually be more useful during operations in a lot of use cases, including monitoring infrastructure. In order to get the most value out of those digital twins, they need to be fed real-time information from sensors so owners and operators can make actionable decisions based upon the data coming in. Looking at things from that angle, it’s a great match for Bentley to continue expanding their offerings and providing new value to their customers.

We’ve talked a bit here about infrastructure recently – including with a different recent announcement from Bentley – and a lot of those same thoughts apply here as well. Specifically, infrastructure is and will continue to be a major focus right now, particularly in the United States. There is broad recognition that much of our infrastructure is aging and in need of more attention, and even newer infrastructure around connectivity and communication must be closely monitored given that reliable service is crucial as more work turns remote. There is a tremendous amount of money being poured into this space, and innovative tools like digital twins are needed to ensure infrastructure remains operational. This kind of strategic agreement continues to foster those ideas.

In a press statement, Ignasi Vilajosana, Worldsensing CEO, said, “The acquisition of sensemetrics’ Thread connectivity device business will expand our portfolio and allow us to provide more options to our customers. We are pleased to become a preferred sensor connectivity partner for Bentley’s iTwin IoT digital twin cloud services, confirming our position as the reference connectivity platform for mining, construction, rail, and infrastructure monitoring.”

Bentley vice president of corporate development Justin Schmidt added, “We are confident that the combination of Worldsensing’s expertise in IoT solutions and our leadership in infrastructure digital twin software will create a powerful offering for the market.”

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