Categories Interviews, Technology

The pandemic is likely to drive demand for WiSA products: Brett Moyer

In an interaction with Arjun Vijay, Brett Moyer, President, CEO and Chairperson, Summit Wireless Technologies Inc. and Founding Member of WiSA, speaks at length on the firm’s journey, and plans going forward. Excerpts:

AlphaStreet: What’s in store for WISA for fiscal 2021 – in terms of product launch, capital deployment, and partnerships?

Brett Moyer: There’s a lot of excitement about the product launch. If you listen to the year-end call, we talked about reaching 25 to 30 brands using our technology in the market this year. So, the most recent one since that call in the middle of March was Hisense TV, which stands at number five in the world, give or take some numbers. And they are launching a line of WiSA-ready TVs, just like LG. So I think sometime in the next few days, they will officially announce it. But we have already announced that we have certified it.

So we have a second WiSA-ready brand, which joins Skyworth and Bang & Olufsen. And there’s a fifth TV brand coming up.

AlphaStreet: What can be expected on the capital deployment front this year?

Brett Moyer: So, from a cash burn perspective, we have not given guidance. We have generally described it as $2.5 million a quarter, and starting to go down with increased revenue and margins. So, if you look at the Q3 and Q4 performance, you’ll see that our margins have started increasing. We have a goal to get to 30 points, which is substantially better than the first half of last year or 2019.

Summit Wireless FY 2020 earnings

AlphaStreet: How does Summit Wireless view the market for its products in terms of size, geographic location etc? Have you seen any major shift in parameters due to the pandemic or other factors?

Brett Moyer: Well, so excluding the pandemic for a second, with so many brands shipping, there are some brands that are strong in each area of the world. So for example, Harman is very strong in Europe and China. Some products like Dynaudio are strong in China and Europe, and companies like Klipsch, Enclave and Platin are strong in the US. So, between China, North America and Europe, I think we have a pretty well-represented group of customers. Now, in terms of a pandemic, specifically, I don’t think we’ve seen regional shifts in demand. We have seen probably more demand, as people figure out what to do locked in their houses. But I don’t think it’s changed regionally.

WiSA optimism driven by new product launches: Summit Wireless CEO

AlphaStreet: The last time we spoke, SoundSend was about to hit the market. Can you give us some of the initial sales figures and response ? 

Brett Moyer: The best indication is that we’ve won four awards already this year, such as the Innovation Award out of CES, and just last week, we won the Stevie Award. And also the Dealerscope 2021 IMPACT Award. So the industry has really gotten behind it.

AlphaStreet: Do you expect to see a huge pent-up demand once the global economies open up completely? 

Brett Moyer : It appears that the pandemic is not going to be over for a long time, though there’s going to be a lot of loosening of restrictions. But I don’t see it gone and terminated. So, I think there will be an ongoing value of what can you do in your house to entertain your family and yourself.

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AlphaStreet: Can you tell us a bit about your WiSA Wave Marketing Program? Also, you have forecast website traffic to reach one million visitors in 2021. Do you have any metrics on the conversion rates?

Brett Moyer: Well, we said we would do 135,000 in Q1. I think we did 138,000. We projected Q2 at 165,000, and increased to 250,000 in Q3. We forecast 450,000 during the holiday season in Q4. So based on Q1 numbers, we’re right on target.

AlphaStreet: Summit Wireless posted a 44% year-over-year revenue growth in fiscal 2020, despite the pandemic-related lockdowns. Should we expect a similar kind of growth going forward?

Brett Moyer: I will review our fourth quarter and our first-quarter guidance. The fourth quarter was actually up 140%. Then our first-quarter guidance was to exceed 100%. So, I would say that based on that trend, to only go up 40% would be a significant under forecast. I think it’s an exciting year for us.

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