The San Francisco-based startup Ouster Inc. has agreed to go public through a merger with special acquisition company Colonnade Acquisition Corp. Ouster Inc. focuses on developing lidar sensors which are utilized in self-driving cars and smart cities.

The deal is valuing the company at $1.9 billion. This is the 5th such company to agree to go public this year. The others are Velodyne Lidar Inc, Luminar, Innoviz and Aeva.

Lidar sensors use laser light pulses to render precise images of the environment around the object. This is seen as essential by many automakers to allow higher levels of driver assistance right up to making them capable of self-driving.

According to the company’s co-founder Angus Pacala, Ouster views its technology as having practical applications beyond just autonomous vehicles. Areas such as drones, smart cities, and robotics are among some of them.

Acquisition companies like Colonnade are investment vehicles which raise funds in an initial public offering. These aim at buying a private company. The acquired company then becomes public as result of the merger.

Overall the deal will bring in up to $300 million in gross proceeds for Ouster which expects to generate around $19 million in revenue in 2020.

This new bite was adapted from an article originally written for Reuters.

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