Ouster, a startup that produces high-resolution digital lidar sensors, announced that Adam Dolinko is the company’s new Chief Legal Officer. The announcement followed Ouster’s $1.9 billion merger with a special purpose acquisition vehicle (SPAC). As a result of the SPAC merger, Ouster has publicly listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
Adam Dolinko has spent much of his career working on legal issues that impact tech startups. Dolinko has been general counsel of three public companies and two private companies. Before working in-house, Dolinko was a corporate partner Wilson Sonsini, a renowned Silicon Valley law firm. He also worked at the Nasdaq stock exchange.
Myra Pasek, the previous general counsel of Ouster, will join Iron Ox Inc., an agricultural startup that uses artificial intelligence to optimize plant growth conditions. Before her time at Ouster, Pasek served as Tesla’s second in-house lawyer and the first lawyer and general counsel of Impossible Foods.
Dolinko is enthusiastic about his new role and Ouster’s growth outlook. “I am thrilled to join Ouster and profoundly impressed by both the technology and the team’s commitment to transparency, execution, and customers. Among its peer group, Ouster is one of a few companies that has focused on building a steady long-term business and is poised for continued growth,” Dolinko stated. “I look forward to helping Ouster accelerate the adoption of our digital lidar to build a safer, smarter, and more connected world.”
History of Ouster
Founded in 2015, Ouster develops lidar sensors for the automobile, industrial, and robotics industries. Angus Pacala, the company’s CEO and co-founder, has degrees in mechanical engineering from Stanford University. Prior to founding Ouster, Pacala was Director of Engineering at Quanergy.
Based in San Francisco, the startup expanded into Japan, South Korea, and the Middle East earlier this year. It reported a net loss of $12.7 million in the third quarter of 2021.
CEO Pacala hopes Ouster can make lidar technology ubiquitous. “We believe our digital lidar unlocks the largest multi-market opportunity with the best combination of price and performance,” Pacala commented. She continued, “Today, we have around 600 customers in over 50 countries with outsourced manufacturing, enabling us to scale quickly and further reduce costs over time. We also have an exciting product roadmap that we believe will enable us to continue to grow in each of our target verticals: automotive, industrial, smart infrastructure, and robotics.”
How Ouster’s Digital Lidar Technology is Used
Ouster’s lidar sensors provide ultra-wide views and long-range sensors. The sensors balance strong performance with an affordable price tag. The technology has proven adaptable and scalable across a range of industries. In the near term, the company believes the industrial market will experience the highest growth in applications of Ouster’s technology. The company predicts that automotive and robotics applications of Ouster’s lidar sensors will ramp up in 2025.
In the industrial market, Ouster’s lidar sensors help with crop harvesting, mining, construction building, and goods transportation. High-resolution lidar sensors are deployed in heavy industrial equipment, automated warehouse robotics systems, crane and docking systems at shipping ports, and autonomous drones.
Advantages Over the Digital Lidar Competition
The Ouster team believes the startup has distinct advantages over competitors. Their digital approach to lidar is unique among other players in the market. In addition, Ouster has a diversified business model, with hundreds of applications across sectors. The technology’s flexible architecture facilitates this. Plus, Ouster outsources manufacturing functions, which helps the company scale efficiently. The startup plans to invest more heavily in sales and marketing, software, and hardware.
Plans to Expand
As the new Chief Legal Officer, Dolinko will be especially involved in the startup’s expansion efforts. His corporate law background in M&A and securities law will be useful as Ouster seeks to enter strategic partnerships and sign merger agreements with complementary businesses.
“Adam’s experience overseeing and closing deals in the automotive, consumer electronics, industrial, and infrastructure sectors will prove invaluable to Ouster as we scale our business across our four target verticals,” said Pacala. “Adam will be instrumental as we advance negotiations with global automakers and sign additional high-volume production deals with customers around the world.”
In September 2021, Ouster signed an agreement with Chinese autonomous driving company Juzhen Data Tech. Lidar systems are essential to the autopilot functions of autonomous vehicles. Ouster will provide Juzhen with 1,190 digital lidar sensors through 2025.
Since Ouster is now a public company, it will be more susceptible to shareholder lawsuits claiming violation of federal securities laws. Consumer rights litigation firms usually bring these lawsuits. These suits assert that certain directors and officers of a company made materially misleading statements to public investors.