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Tobii Targets In-Car Sensor Market with AutoSense Buy

December 13 2023

Stockholm, Sweden-based eye tracking and attention computing pioneer Tobii has agreed to acquire FotoNation from audio, imaging and computing technology products firm Xperi, for a minimum consideration of $US 45m. The buy includes in-vehicle monitoring systems AutoSense and adds c.250 full-time staff.

Tobii Targets In-Car Sensor Market with AutoSense BuyAutoSense's portfolio includes Driver Monitoring System (DMS) and Occupant Monitoring System (OMS) solutions. Hitherto known for its eye tracking hardware and software, Tobii says it is aiming for 'leadership' in the Automotive Interior Sensing market, combining its own technology and expertise with those of AutoSense to form a new business or 'Segment' within the Tobii Group. The combined company has 'significant design wins' with seven manufacturers who between them represent more than fifteen percent of global annual automobile production, and is expected to generate SEK 500m ($US 48.5m) of revenue in 2028 and reach cash flow break-even in 2026. The seven marques include 'a large Korean, a large premium German and a large Japanese car manufacturer'.

Tobii says it will raise SEK 300m ($US 29m) through a rights issue during the first quarter of 2024, in order to finance the operational expenses needed for the new Segment in 2024 and 2025 - but the deal requires no up-front cash or shares payment. c.$30m will be structured as a promissory note at 8% interest, to be paid in three annual installments starting in 2027; and a secondary payment of $15m will be paid in four annual installments starting in 2028. Additional earn outs can be paid in 2031 depending on achievement of targets by the new segment. The Transaction is expected to close within 30 days and is subject to customary closing conditions.

Anand Srivatsa, CEO of Tobii since 2021, comments: 'Tobii's ambition is to be a long-term global leader in the Automotive Interior Sensing market. I am thrilled that with this acquisition we have accelerated this timeline significantly. The combination of AutoSense and Tobii's DMS will deliver one of the most comprehensive Interior Sensing offerings and brings the credibility of multiple marquee design wins with a demonstrated ability to deliver these technologies into cars on the road'.

Following the buy Tobii will re-organize into three business segments: Products & Solutions, Integrations, and Autosense. A number of general computer vision and image processing technologies are also part of the acquisition and these will be incorporated into the Integrations segment. The company says it expects revenue in the other two segments to decline after 2024, while the AutoSense business grows rapidly to dominate the group, with forecast revenue of SEK 30-50m in 2024 and around SEK 500m in 2028.

Web site: www.tobii.com .

All articles 2006-23 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas, 2024- by Nick Thomas, unless otherwise stated.

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