Bentley Systems – now a publicly traded company – has continued its push for creating large-scale digital twins for infrastructure with the announcement of a new fund aimed at supporting innovation in digital twin technology. Bentley iTwin Ventures has been created with the purpose of investing in “promising technology companies” that are driving innovation in road, rail, bridge, utilities, industrial and other infrastructure projects.
The new iTwin Venture effort totals $100 million of venture capital – which Bentley will leverage to con-invest in startups and other emerging companies that are in line with Bentley’s strategic goals for the digitization of infrastructure. The fund will target investments in transformational digital twin solutions supporting the design, simulation, construction, and/or operations of physical infrastructure.
While this type of startup fund is new for Bentley, they have not shied away historically from supporting the adoption of digital twins. Last year, in a joint effort with Topcon, Bentley announced the formation of Digital Construction Works, a software-agnostic consulting firm that was formed to help companies figure out how to get up to speed and set up digital workflows.
Bentley Systems’ Acceleration Initiatives was launched in 2020 to invest in new and incremental participants in open ecosystems to advance infrastructure digital twins. The Bentley Systems Acceleration Initiative is chartered to accelerate the creation and curation of digital twins, and to foster technologies and innovations so enabled, by nurturing new ventures, making minority investments through Bentley iTwin Ventures, and acquiring and expanding digital integrators.
Bentley iTwin Ventures hopes to invest in early and mid-stage companies that demonstrate ability to develop applications and solutions that leverage and extend infrastructure digital twin opportunities, particularly in the public works and utilities, and industrial and resources, infrastructure sectors. The fund will invest in opportunities which can leverage Bentley’s iTwin Platform and open-source toolkits, supporting subject matter expertise, commercial teaming, and/or global reach and relationships within the infrastructure engineering communi
“Taking advantage of the momentum from Bentley Systems’ initial public offering, we are excited to expand our Acceleration Initiatives by formally launching the Bentley iTwin Ventures fund to support the growth of entrepreneurial companies dedicated to infrastructure digital twin solutions,” said Greg Bentley, CEO of Bentley Systems.
“Our iTwin Platform provides a scalable open-source foundation for technical and commercial innovation that will empower a vibrant ecosystem to creatively combine and connect what digital twins now make possible for infrastructure constituents. Proprietary analytics, data services, benchmarking, and infrastructure-as-a-service commercial models, for instance, are not in Bentley Systems’ direct scope, but we are glad to have a stake in bootstrapping these future successes. Here’s to the fullest going-digital ecosystem for infrastructure digital twins!”