Ouster raises $60 million to increase lidar production

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Ouster, a San Francisco-based lidar startup that started from stealth at December 2017, today announced that it has raised an extra $60 million in financing after a $27 million series A. This latest round — that was directed by Runway Growth Capital, together with donations from Silicon Valley Bank, Cox Enterprises, Constellation Tech Ventures, Fontinalis Partners, Carthona Capital, along with many others — brings the organization’s total increased to $90 million.

The new capital will be utilized to finance the growth of Ouster’s production centers, according to co-founder and CEO Angus Pacala, such as its recently opened Bay Area quality assurance testing and detector calibration centre. He anticipates that it will have the ability to assemble and send”several million” detectors per month prior to the tail end of 2019 (upward from”countless” now ), which Ouster will approximately double its headcount in the coming months to approximately 200 full-time workers across technology, operations, business development, and promotion.

“The momentum we’re seeing in our business is driven by the demand we’re seeing in the market for customers wanting to push the performance frontier,” said Pacala. “The company has maintained a low profile for over two years — staying heads-down and focusing on getting [products] ready to ship. I’m incredibly proud of our team for their hard work to produce the most advanced, practical, and scalable … the sensor on the market, and we’re very excited about the impact our product will have in autonomous vehicles and other applications in robotics.”

Lidar — detectors that measure the space to goal objects by illuminating them with laser lighting and measuring the reflected pulses — is in the crux of a range of autonomous automobile systems, such as those in Waymo, Uber, and GM’s Cruise, however, its own usage instances extend beyond automotive. It has been exploited for obstacle detection and prevention in mining vehicles, atmospheric research for distance, forestry direction, end farm optimization, speed limit enforcement, as well as video games.

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Ouster makes four versions from two product lines: the OS-1 and OS-2. Sensors from the OS-1 household, which are made for short- and – medium-range programs, have 150-meter ranges, settlements from 16 to 128 channels, and weigh in at approximately 380 g — the lightest of any like detectors available on the current market, Ouster maintains. The only long-range OS-2 detector, meanwhile, includes a 64-beam resolution, a range of over 200 meters, along with a 22.5-degree vertical field of view.

The lidar marketplace is estimated to be worth $1.8 billion in just five decades, and it is a crowded area. Israeli startup Innoviz Technologies increased $65 million in September 2017 because of its lidar technology, following on the heels of financing rounds by Oryx and TetraVue. Luminar, that claims to have grown lidars with a selection of over 250 meters along with a 120-degree area of opinion, recently announced a strategic partnership with Volvo, also in January, lidar startup Baraja increased $32 million to its revolutionary prism-like design. That is not to mention far-infrared pioneer AdaSky, ground-penetrating radar startup WaveSense, also velocity-measuring sensor firm Aeva, all which attempt to build technologies which complement conventional vision-based autonomous automobile perception systems.

However, Ouster asserts its 2-3 week lead occasions — and its own detectors’ little, compact form variables and transparent pricing — also have assisted it to get forward. The OS-1 models begin at $3,500, about $500 less expensive than incumbent lidar supplier Velodyne’s VLP-16, and its own OS-2 prices $24,000. (Ouster extends reductions on OS-1 SKUs up to $6,000 to nonprofits.)

Pacala says its client base now includes over 400 companies representing businesses from autonomous vehicles into industrial robotics, agriculture, mapping, protection, and drones. “It’s amazing that just a year ago we could count our customers on one hand, and [now] … engineering teams around the world are using Ouster’s sensors to build new industries and reshape old ones,” he said. “It’s humbling to know that this demand exists — it motivates us every day to deliver for our customers.”

Ouster also now announced that Susan Heystee will join its board of supervisors. She most recently served as senior vice president of Verizon’s automotive department, and formerly had been executive vice president of sales in the vehicle and connected distress company Telogis.

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“I’m thankful for the opportunity to share my expertise and skills with the leading lidar company poised for growth and one highly focused on bringing 3D sensing to the masses,” said Heystee, in a prepared statement. “I look forward to working with Ouster’s talented management team to extend the company’s market leadership.”

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