TIN Member Spotlight: Seequent

14 December 2020
Annual Technology Investment Network (TIN) survey launches this week into a changed world

Headquartered in Christchurch, Seequent is a global software company specialising in geoscience modelling and visualisation software. Its world-leading technologies enable better-informed environmental and investment decision making in the mining, civil infrastructure, environmental, and energy sectors.

Customers in over 100 countries use Seequent’s innovative software on a diverse range of projects, including critical, large-scale, earth, environment, and renewable energy projects, to support complex decision-making on subsurface geoscience and engineering design solutions.

Seequent made it into the EY Ten Companies to Watch list for the first time in TIN Report history with an impressive 2020 revenue growth of $48.2m (up 83.4% on 2019). What key business decisions do you attribute this impressive success?

Our rapid growth over this last year is driven by a combination of three factors. Firstly, in our core markets, Seequent has always been a high growth software business with a consistent compounding organic growth rate of 25%. Secondly, in this last year, we sought to broaden the geoscience foundations of the firm by acquiring two software companies that are world leaders in their respective fields. Lastly, new products to market, particularly those in the cloud, are growing extremely quickly.

Shaun Maloney - CEO, Seequent

2020 required an immense amount of agility from companies globally, and your software is used in over 100 countries around the world on a diverse range of projects. How did Seequent adapt to the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Like many companies, we have taken multiple actions, two of which are noteworthy. Unusually for a New Zealand company, 60% of our more than 430 staff are outside NZ in 21 different locations. Our customer-facing teams are highly skilled and adaptable, and immediately pivoted their processes to enable effective remote engagement with customers given they typically travel heavily. As an example, our webinar attendance in the months after the lockdown was 10 times the level before.

How does the growing global focus on climate change impact your business?

Climate change and the associated potential impacts is one of many megatrends that the world is facing and it is critical to both people and the planet that these be addressed. Others include urbanisation, aging national infrastructure, energy transition, and strain on natural resources, including water. Seequent is intent on helping organisations manage through these complex issues and find long term sustainable outcomes.

Leading Silicon Valley technology-focused private equity firm Accel-KKR and New Zealand's Pencarrow Private Equity are supporting your rapid global growth. What is your experience engaging with international investors in different markets? Do you have some tips for other businesses looking to do the same?

From day one, Seequent has focused on building a business with strong fundamentals. We have sought to have a clear purpose, products that address a market need, control over our distribution, and a balance between growth and profitability. If yours is a strong, well-run business, chances are investors will have interest. If they do, take time to ensure there is a good cultural alignment between your team and the investor you decide to work with, and that you share a common vision for the business and its growth strategy. This is as important as the capital and business support an investor can bring.

What are your top three business priorities moving into 2021, and how do you look at softer values such as care for employee wellbeing in your priorities?

First and foremost, ensuring our global teams are supported in the various states of lockdown in which they find themselves. From a business model perspective, we are focused on:

  1. Extending our reach through channel development (Scale).

  2. Accelerating our move into new cloud solutions.

  3. Strengthening underlying process capability to enable scale.

On employee wellbeing

We recognise that a focus on people and culture, in addition to technology, is crucial to driving sustained innovation and realising our digital potential. Throughout the course of the year, we have had to be flexible and adapt to many different challenges. We have done the best we can to support and maintain our Seequent community and continue to survey global teams, welcoming their honest input.

We strive to create a culture where the employee can depend on the employer to provide predictability, security, and make good decisions, which takes a lot of anxiety away for our employees. Prioritising a positive mindset, affirming our shared purpose, and continuing to communicate what this is, helps to keep us all on the same page.

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