Ouster Announces Launch of OS1 LIDAR, Completes $27M Series A Financing Round
Cox Enterprises led the financing, which included participation from Fontinalis Partners, Amity Ventures, Constellation Technology Ventures, Tao Capital Partners, and Carthona Capital
Ouster, a San Francisco-based developer of high performance LIDAR technology emerged from stealth today, announcing the launch of the company’s new OS1 model LIDAR, and $27 million in Series A funding, led by Cox Enterprises . The OS1 represents a step-change in LIDAR sensing technology that is available on the market today, with marked improvements in mass, form factor, and power requirements. The 64-channel LIDAR sensor, which also matches the resolution of the highest performing automotive LIDAR technology on the market today, has begun shipping to customers, and is rapidly ramping up commercial-scale production at a price point approximately 5x below that of its competition.
“Ouster’s OS1 LIDAR is a truly compelling piece of technology that we believe is going to accelerate the autonomous driving development curve,” said David Blau, VP of Corporate Strategy and Investments at Cox Enterprises, who will join the Ouster Board. “We are excited to back Angus, Mark, and the entire Ouster team as they are now positioned to be the first true competitor in what’s largely been a one-player market to date.”
The company was founded by CEO Angus Pacala, former co-founder and head of engineering of Quanergy Systems, and CTO Mark Frichtl, a prior Quanergy Systems engineer who also previously spent time at Palantir Technologies, First Solar, and the Apple Special Projects Group. Pacala and Frichtl formed Ouster with the vision to create a high-performance, reliable, and small form factor LIDAR sensor that could be manufactured at a scale and price that would allow autonomous technology to continue its rapid expansion without the cost and manufacturing constraints currently present in the market.
“The company has maintained a low-profile for over two years – staying heads-down and focusing on getting the OS1 ready to ship,” noted CEO and co-founder Angus Pacala. “I’m incredibly proud of our team for their hard work to produce the most advanced, practical, and scalable LIDAR sensor on the market, and we’re very excited about the impact our product will have in autonomous vehicles and other applications in robotics,” Pacala added.
Ouster’s Series A funding will primarily be used for the manufacturing and the continued development of its next sensor designs. The company anticipates manufacturing capacity in the tens of thousands of sensors in 2018 based on its current product design, and Ouster’s product roadmap supports continually improving resolution, range, and alternative form factors. Additionally, the new capital will support the company’s expansion from approximately 40 employees today to 100 employees by summer 2018.
“Ouster is poised to be a key enabler of the future of mobility,” said Chris Thomas, a founder and partner of Fontinalis Partners. “We spent the past 12 months researching the broader perception space, with a specific focus on LIDAR, and feel strongly that Ouster’s team, technical approach, and focus on manufacturing at volume positions them to capture a market leadership position today and power the autonomous systems of the future.”
Ouster is a leading developer of LIDAR and perception technology for the autonomous vehicle and robotics sectors. The company’s flagship product, the OS1, provides industry leading performance, scalability, reliability, and form factor. Ouster’s corporate headquarters and manufacturing facility are located in the Mission District of San Francisco. For more information, visit www.ouster.io.
About Cox Enterprises
Cox Enterprises is a leading communications, media and automotive services company. With revenues exceeding $20 billion and approximately 60,000 employees, the company’s major operating subsidiaries include Cox Communications (cable television distribution, high-speed Internet access, telephone, home security and automation, commercial telecommunications and advertising solutions); Cox Automotive (automotive-related auctions, financial services, media and software solutions); and Cox Media Group (television and radio stations, digital media, newspapers and advertising sales rep firms).
About Fontinalis Partners
Fontinalis Partners, with offices in Detroit and Boston, is a venture capital firm strategically focused on next-generation mobility solutions. The firm was founded in 2009 by Bill Ford, Ralph Booth, Chris Cheever, Chris Thomas and Mark Schulz. Fontinalis invests across all facets of the world’s mobility systems on a stage- and size-agnostic basis. Fontinalis is not affiliated with Ford Motor Company. More information is available at www.fontinalis.com.
Constellation is a leading competitive retail supplier of power, natural gas and energy products and services for homes and businesses across the continental United States. Constellation’s family of retail businesses serves approximately 2.2 million residential, public sector and business customers, including more than two-thirds of the Fortune 100. Baltimore-based Constellation is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with 2016 revenues of approximately $31.4 billion, and more than 35,500 megawatts of owned capacity comprising one of the nation’s cleanest and lowest-cost power generation fleets. Learn more at www.constellation.com or on Twitter at @ConstellationEG.