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5 Reasons Why OUSTER Inc is a leader in LiDAR Technology!

01 Apr 5 Reasons Why OUSTER Inc is a leader in LiDAR Technology!

Ouster Inc (NYSE: OUST) develops and delivers high-performance digital LiDAR solutions that empower robots, automotive, industrial machines and smart infrastructure. The Company offers over 75 sensor configurations that can be applied to build safer roads, automate agriculture, construction and logistics, provide a 360-degree view for automotive and transform trucking and robotics.

The Company’s sensors are suitable for long, mid and short -range applications. Ouster has been instrumental in reimagining lidar technology with its digital device offering that comprises one chip-scale laser array and a CMOS sensor, an improvement over conventional analog devices with numerous components.

Ouster has a cutting-edge patented digital lidar architecture, which offers an amalgamation of performance, reliability and cost.  The Company has won numerous awards for innovation and is backed by financial and strategic investors such as Amity Ventures, Carthona Capital, Cox Enterprises, Fontinalis Partners and Constellation among others.

The Company recently went public through a merger with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Colonnade Acquisition Corp. The deal valued the Company $1.9 Billion and marks a string of similar SPAC mergers that include leading LiDAR companies such as Aeva, Innoviz, Luminar and Velodyne Lidar

Ouster Inc (NYSE: OUST)

Market Cap: $1.35B; Current Share Price: 8.50 USDChart
Data by YCharts

A portfolio of Leading-Edge Products
The Company offers more than 75 unique beam configurations for automotive ADAS that come with regular feature and performance improvement updates and are supported by an experienced technical team. Ouster’s product offerings consist of OSO, meant to deliver an ultra-wide field-of-view; OS1 built for all-round performance and OS2 for long-range performance. The sensors are built to endure the toughest of conditions and are extremely reliable, in addition, they can function for over 100,000 hours continuously, are water-proof, shock and vibration-proof and can withstand extreme temperatures as well.

A Robust and Extensive Distribution Network
Ouster has a robust global distribution network, encompassing local procurement, integration expertise, customer support and on-site demonstrations. Some of its partners include ADASTEC (Turkey) that supplies ADAS components and services to the automotive industry; Autonoomia (Poland) supplier of products, software, engineering and technology for vehicle automation.

Ouster has tied-up with Bell Tronics for distribution in Israel, while DTC GmbH handles the distribution in the DACH region. Ouster’s network extends to Asia-pacific with presence in Singapore and SE Asia, Australia, New Zealand Japan and South Korea. The Company’s distribution in the Americas extends to Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Canada.

Software and Integration Partnerships Across Industries
The Company has also built a strong network of software and integration partners in a wide range of industries. Ouster has partnered with Mechaspin for software and perception, SDXZB for Robotics and SLAM algorithms and Unikie for AI, software and machine learning in Agriculture. In the field of Autonomous Vehicles, the Company is partnering with Cognata for Simulation and Modelling, Cron AI for Software and Perception, Outsight for Algorithms and Data Processing among many others. Ouster’s list of collaboration is extensive and covers areas such as Industrial Automation, Mapping, Robotics, Security, Smart City and V2X.

A Lucrative Industry with Great Potential for Growth
LiDAR, which stands for light detection and ranging, is a remote sensing method used for determining geospatial measurements. The American Geosciences Institute defines LiDAR as “remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges (variable distances) to the Earth. These light pulses—combined with other data recorded by the airborne system— generate precise, three-dimensional information about the shape of the Earth and its surface characteristics. The technology can be further categorized as Topographic that uses near-infrared laser and Bathymetric that uses water-penetrating green light to calculate elevations.

The technology was primarily used in aircrafts and helicopters and came to the limelight after the introduction of GPS. The system consists of a specialized GPS receiver that is aided by a laser and a scanner. LiDAR has multiple applications and use cases such as measuring riverbed elevations, seafloor mapping; land management activities like urban planning, agriculture, mining and forestry and emergency and hazard management such as monitoring and mapping tsunamis, floods, landslides or volcanic eruptions.

The Global LiDAR market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 24.50% from 2019-2026 to reach USD 9.479 million by 2026, according to a report by Data Bridge Market Research. The growth in the market will be driven by technological advancements and increasing demand in a host of sectors. LiDAR technology is best suited to meet the demands of autonomous vehicles, military and Defense applications, aerospace and agriculture industry to name a few. However, the lack of industry standards of operations, high costs and non-interoperability of technologies may hamper the growth in the industry.

A Burgeoning Customer Base
In February 2021, the Company signed a strategic agreement with Plus, a premier automated truck technology company that is gearing up for the mass production of its automated driving system in partnership with FAW, the largest heavy truck manufacturer. Ouster will supply nearly 2000 digital lidar sensors as part of the initial rollout, with potential to increase its supply to a projected 160,000 sensors over the next 5 years.

Image Source: Company

Angus Pacala, Co-Founder and CEO of Ouster, commented,

“Plus is rapidly accelerating innovation in automated trucks and we are very excited to be able to meet their rigorous technology, reliability, and immediate volume production requirements to win this contract. We are focused on four industries where we believe digital lidar will be a technology lynchpin, and we see a huge opportunity in automated trucks that is driving significant demand for our sensors today and is growing exponentially in the near future.”

In March 2021, Ouster entered into a multi-year strategic customer agreement with Outrider, to provide lidar sensors that will be incorporated in autonomous yard trucks, to be used for large-scale distribution centers and logistics hubs. The Company also signed an agreement with Kässbohrer Geländefahrzeug AG, to provide digital lidar sensors for its ski slope maintenance solution SNOWsat.

These are only a few of the 20 agreements that the Company has signed over the last 8 months beginning August 2020 and represent over $325 million in revenue opportunity through 2025 as per the Company.

Key Takeaways
Ouster is aiming to automate the global supply and logistics chain by focusing on multiple areas of interest including Autonomous and Warehouse Automation, Shipping and Last Mile Trucking. In 2020, the Company’s revenue was primarily driven by Top 5 automotive customers who contributed to $4.9M in revenue.

The Company has also signed a non-binding contract with a global OEM, with projected revenues of $30M over 3 years. In addition, the Company’s clients include nearly 10 autonomous trucking customers including Plus. The Company has a robust patent portfolio with 24 patents covering its technology.

Ouster has transferred more than 60 percent of its manufacturing to a contract manufacturer in Thailand namely Benchmark and is focused on delivering a cost-effective solution, which it believes is a key differentiating factor from its competitors. As a result of scaling its manufacturing capacity, the Company has been able to achieve a 61 percent increase in production in Q4, 2020 as compared to the last quarter. Automotive manufacturers are not only looking at safety but also want to eliminate redundancy and are therefore looking for a package of LiDAR solutions, this could prove to be advantageous for the Company’s approach.

Image Source: Company

As per the Q4, 2020 financial results, the Company recorded its highest revenue quarter till date at $6.4 million. Furthermore, customer additions for Q4 reached more than 100, taking its 2020 acquisitions to more than 500. Ouster’s revenue guidance for 2021 is hopeful of over 80 percent YoY growth and nearly $33-$35 million in revenue as compared to $18.9 million in 2020.

The Company is helmed by an experienced management with vast experience, beginning with its CEO Angus Pacala, who has a wealth of experience in Lidar and had previously co-founded Quanergy.

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

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