SmartEye vs Seeing Machines

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In view of the stellar PR coming out of SmartEye today, I felt it worthwhile to mention that while I applaud its chutzpah, I still don’t think its technology matches that of Seeing Machines. That said, I believe both will progress further and eventually be taken over.

Questions for SmartEye

Let me explain some questions that arose in my mind as I read the announcement from SmartEye today.

  1. SmartEye is saying that it has half a million cars carrying its DMS but, if so, they must be selling it very cheaply given the revenues announced.
  2. Given Seeing Machines has already stated that A$900m of RFQs are being decided right now, it seems odd that SmartEye should contradict this with the statement that “several smaller procurements are soon to be decided in the near term”. Is it possible that this is marketing speak for: “We’ve not won VW or Toyota”?
  3. As if to dispel this notion we’re promised: “Three of the largest procurements of DMS to date are due for sourcing in the coming quarters”. Really? Well, don’t hold your breath if you think SmartEye is going to win them against the combined might of Qualcomm and Seeing Machines.

Of course, I am biased purely because I’ve conducted one helluva lot of research. I believe Qualcomm is set to unveil a host of auto RFQ wins before Christmas, with Seeing Machines DMS/OMS in them. And yes, I’m convinced SEE has won Toyota and VW — I just can’t prove it. Certainly, I don’t hear SmartEye mentioning either company.

Regarding fleet, I believe the global Shell deal is set to be huge. I’ve heard whispers that it could be a caterpillar-style deal, with upfront revenues that will bring forward break-even. Though, with Shell in a quiet period, I can’t confirm.

Moreover, See’s fleet arm is making money, while SmartEye’s nascent fleet offering is still pre-revenue! 

As for aviation, we patiently await the imminent takeoff off of Seeing Machines’ licensing deal with L3. It appears to have been delayed by a year. Regardless, given the progress made, the idea that Seeing Machines aviation arm has no value is plainly ludicrous (not in an Elon Musk way).

Bidders circling Seeing Machines?

By the way, I’m still of the opinion that Seeing Machines is very likely to receive a bid from Qualcomm very, very soon. Indeed, one fund manager recently rang me to ask about a rumour he’d heard coming out of the US, regarding a possible takeover of Seeing Machines. He didn’t mention who it was or his source but, if I was Qualcomm, I’d get the ring on Seeing Machines finger fast.

CES might be the perfect opportunity to announce the betrothal to the world. (I also believe SmartEye will also get bought in due course).

My logic? I just can’t imagine that Qualcomm can risk SEE’s tech falling to anyone else, given its importance to its auto stack offering. Look at how it outmaneuvered Magna to get its hands on Arriver. Certainly, Apple or Alphabet have the potential to outmuscle Qualcomm, as they must also know its potential worth. Therefore, I believe a lot of wooing is going on behind closed doors. 

By the way, has anyone dared tell Elon Musk that buying Seeing Machines might get Missy Cummings off his back?

My advice to Seeing Machines: “Don’t sign any pre-nup until you’ve seen the size of their respective wallets. You’re worth at least £10 billion!”

(Do your own research, as the writer may have been high on life while writing this – Ed).

The writer holds stock in Seeing Machines

2 thoughts on “SmartEye vs Seeing Machines

  1. I bought more SM. I am having a difficult time calculating a fair value below two billion USD within about 3 years. Some scenarios are much larger. Any idea how much dollar content per car they’d get? I’m assuming $15, but shrinking to $10 over time as volume ramps…

    SmartEye seems less much less likely to sell in the near term now… maybe this will allow Seeing Machines to be the only willing dance partner!? I agree with you that Qualcomm is an ideal strategic buyer. But I’d also propose Magna, maybe Ford or GM/Cruise, even AMD/Xilinx. Anyone else?

    While we wait, cheers to the official financial release in early November NOT including another dilution…

    • While I can’t be sure of the exact amount SEE will get per car, as there are lots of variations, I’d broadly agree with your figures. Moreover, I’m expecting it (with the help of Qualcomm) to take at least 70% of the auto market going forward.

      I honestly believe that once the market is apprised of the scale of Seeing Machines dominance in auto, fleet, and aviation, US$10bn would be a fair price for Seeing Machines.

      I believe that some of SmartEye’s historic OEM wins have jumped ship to Seeing Machines. News from QC events over the next month may confirm this. Frantic takeover activity by SmartEye is no substitute for a strategic stranglehold on the global auto market. Indeed, it only confirms how far ahead Seeing Machines now is.

      All my industry sources tell me Seeing Machines has a large technology lead over all its rivals. Witness the fact that, while SmartEye can only talk about interior sensing, Fisker will soon be showing off Seeing Machines driver and occupant monitoring inside its Ocean car — at the LA Auto Show and CES.

      I expect the news coming out of Qualcomm’s own results and presentations over the next month to confirm that SEE will dominate DMS/OMS for the foreseeable future. Indeed, it was pleasing to get my takeover thesis adopted by the SmartEye analyst today, though he rather skated over the reason Qualcomm wants Seeing Machines rather than SmartEye to complete its “digital chassis platform” jigsaw.

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