Ouster, a lidar firm that went public this yr through a SPAC merger, stated it could purchase solid-state lidar startup Sense Photonics in an all-stock deal that was valued at round $68 million at shut of markets on Monday.

As soon as the acquisition is full, Ouster stated it could set up a brand new enterprise arm, Ouster Automotive, which will probably be headed by Sense CEO Shauna McIntyre. That enterprise will combine Sense’s 200-meter vary solid-state lidar into a brand new lidar suite. San Francisco-based Sense’s declare to fame can also be its improved discipline of view, as TechCrunch’s Devin Coldewey defined.

In accordance with a information assertion, Ouster Automotive will even goal to advance negotiations with 5 automotive OEMs, although further particulars about these potential offers weren’t supplied. Ought to they flip into one thing strong, manufacturing would start in 2025 or 2026.

Lidar is a key sensor in most autonomous driving stacks. The sensor, whose identify is a shortened type of “gentle detection and ranging,” measures distance utilizing lasers to generate a 3D map of the world. Together with radar, cameras and software program, lidar is a crucial a part of the AV techniques of a number of the main builders at the moment, together with firms like Waymo and Argo AI.

In February, Ouster CEO Angus Pacala stated on the podcast “Shift” that the way forward for the lidar trade could be marked by consolidation. “There’s going to be three to 5 lidar firms throughout the subsequent 5 years,” he stated. This new acquisition is a mark that Ouster will probably be on the forefront of turning this prediction right into a actuality.

Earlier this yr, Ouster accomplished a merger with a blank-check agency in a deal valued at $1.9 billion. It joined rival lidar firms Luminar, Innoviz and Velodyne in taking the SPAC path to the general public market. Ouster’s inventory hit a year-to-date buying and selling excessive of $15.39 in February; at the moment, it’s buying and selling for $7.41.

Replace: A spokesperson for Ouster confirmed to TechCrunch that the corporate expects the vast majority of Sense’s 80 staff to affix McIntyre in becoming a member of Ouster.

The spokesperson added, “Ouster’s perspective has at all times been that auto OEMs need a multi-sensor suite of solid-state lidar, lengthy to short-range, that may be manufactured at scale and built-in into the physique of the car for the low a whole lot of {dollars}. That is precisely what we’re planning to supply.”