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US Lider Maker Ouster To Go Public In $1.9 Billion Deal

US Lider Maker Ouster To Go Public In $1.9 Billion Deal
A United States based startup called Ouster Inc, which manufactures lidar sensors for self-driving cars and smart cities is set to go public through a merger with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Colonnade Acquisition Corp, the company said.
According to the deal for the public listing, the market value of the San Francisco-based Ouster was fixed at about $1.9 billion. With this listing, Ouster will become the fifth company to that makes lidar to agree a SPAC merger to go public so far this year. The previous companies that went public through the SPAC route include Velodyne Lidar Inc, Luminar, Innoviz and Aeva.
According to the co-founder and Chief Executive of the company, Angus Pacala, the technology that it has developed for its digital lidar by Ouster can be used for practical purposes in areas beyond the arena of self driving vehicle making and can be put to use in fields such as drones, smart cities and robotics.
“The vision of the future that we’re pushing towards is lidar on every vehicle on earth, every moving object on earth and every piece of intelligent fixed infrastructure on earth, in the same way that camera technology has propagated and become ubiquitous in the last 20 years,” Pacala said in an interview, speaking with Colonnade Chief Executive Remy Trafelet.
There were reports earlier that a merger agreement was close to be achieved between Ouster and Colonnade.
The use of SPACs such as Colonnade are becoming increasingly popular as vehicles for investments in which funds are raised through an initial public offering (IPO) with the objective of using those funds for acquiring a private company. Following the purchase of the private company, it then becomes a publicly listed one as result of the merger. This is one of the alternatives to going public through the traditional IPO process.
In August, $200 million was raised by Colonnade in an IPO. $100 million through a private investment in public equity, or PIPE, transaction was also raised by Colonnade for the Ouster deal. Cox Automotive, Fontinalis Partners, and WWJ Enterprises were among the investors in the PIPE.
Up to $300 million in gross proceeds for Ouster will be available on the overall from the deal.
Trafelet said that in the area of lidar making, Ouster stood out from other companies that Colonnade had targeted to acquire because revenues is already generated by the business model of the former. Ouster has forecast generating revenues of around $19 million in 2020.
“It’s not a business plan – they’re selling real products to real customers right now,’ Trafelet said.
Lidar sensors are considered to be essential by many automakers because it allows higher levels of driver assistance and up to the stage of making vehicles completely self driving. Lidar technology uses laser light pulses to render precise images of the environment around a vehicle.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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