Ouster and Velodyne have both recently released smart infrastructure offerings. Last October, Velodyne acquired AI software company Bluecity and began offering a transportation infrastructure product that combines lidar with software to provide real-time traffic data and analytics. Bluecity has around 80 installs around the U.S. and Europe, according to Pacala.
At CES this year, Ouster released Gemini, a similar product that spans traffic, security, and crowd and retail analytics. Ouster is already working with Cisco in two U.S. states to provide a detection solution for road users with real-time safety alerts, and with Digital Mortar to analyze crowds in a new convenience store model in New York and New England. The company also brought on OpenSpace Group as a customer to understand passenger flow and boost customer experience at Euston train station in London.
“We can combine the best of both offerings in a unified platform,” said Pacala.
Taking on the surveillance camera market is a big bet to make, but it could definitely prove lucrative. Globally, the market was valued at $28 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach $45.54 billion by 2027. Similarly, the global intelligent traffic systems market was valued at $9.7 billion in 2021 and experts estimate it will expand to $27.6 billion by 2030.
“This is way way bigger than the automotive sensor market as it exists today,” said Pacala. “And I think it’s faster to deploy because it’s not safety critical. In almost all cases, it’s fixed sensors analyzing the environment and not a mobile vehicle that could potentially be dangerous if it malfunctioned.”
More on the Ouster-Velodyne merger
In November, Ouster and Velodyne agreed to merge in an all-stock transaction, with both companies maintaining a 50% stake in the new company. The combined company is keeping the name Ouster and will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker OUST.
Velodyne stopped trading shares on the Nasdaq after market close on February 10, and each Velodyne share was exchanged for 0.82 shares of Ouster common stock.
Ouster’s stock initially dropped 25% Monday after the merger went through, but has since climbed and is up 20.44% at market close.
The combined company closed out the fourth quarter of 2022 with over $315 million in cash and is on track to exceed its previously projected annualized operating expenditure synergies of $75 million. A combined company with a fresh injection of capital will allow Ouster to reduce costs and get a cash balance that puts it on the path to profitability, said Pacala.
The companies already appear to be reining in cash burn. Their combined cash balance as of September 30, 2022 was about $355 million, so together, they spent under $40 million in the fourth quarter.
Ouster plans to report its Q4 and full year 2022 earnings on March 23, but the company shared in advance that Ouster met its 2022 guidance of $40 million to $55 million in revenue and 25% to 30% in gross margins, and Velodyne exceeded its Q4 guidance of $12 million to $14 million in revenue.
Mark Weinswig, formerly CFO of Velodyne, will serve the same role at Ouster.