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Better Together: Exploring the AutonomouStuff Acquisition

Hexagon’s Positioning Intelligence division recently acquired AutonomouStuff, one the world’s leading suppliers of integrated autonomous vehicle solutions. Listen to AutonomouStuff founder Bobby Hambrick and Hexagon PI President Michael Ritter talk more about this acquisition.

BK:  Welcome to HxGN Radio. My name is Brian. Thanks for joining us! I am here with Michael Ritter, president of Hexagon PI, and Bobby Hambrick, founder of AutonomouStuff, to talk more about this recent acquisition. Gentlemen, thank you. Appreciate it.

BH:  Yeah, thank you for having us.

BK:  Of course. So, let’s talk about the acquisition a little bit. Where did it come from, and how did it all come together?

MR:  Yeah, we’ve been partners in the business for seven or eight years now—

BK:  Mm-hmm.

MR:  —and we have always worked closely together. We had a great cooperation between our teams. We saw the success of AutonomouStuff, and the Hexagon side made the decision that it would be best to partner a little bit closer and acquire AutonomouStuff. And then we had to do a little bit of a sales drop on Bobby, here, to give up the baby.

BH:  Yeah, so the collaboration between the two companies is perfectly complementary.

BK:  Nice, good.

BH:  And it’s going to provide a lot of fuel for our continued growth moving forward.

BK:  Excellent. That’s great. So what was it like, you know, the process in general, the acquisition process? What was it like from start to finish for you both?

MR:  Oh, I think we could have done it in a day—

BK:  That’s nice.

MR:  But, no, I mean, there’s a lot of financial and legal due diligence to go through and a lot of—

BK:  Sure, sure.

MR:  —writing of contracts and looking at all the individual details of that. Fortunately, we had great legal teams on both sides that worked that very, very well for us, because generally we agreed on how we wanted to do it very quickly.

BK:  Sure.

BH:  Yeah, the spirit of the deal was friendly from the very beginning.

BK:  Yeah.

BH:  And it did move forward at lightning speed, but mostly because we worked together so perfectly, you know, seamlessly.

BK:  That’s great. You know, you don’t always see that, but it’s nice when things go so smoothly and sounds like it was a really good fit. So, fantastic. Well, now that that process is complete, what’s your first priority?

MR:  First priority is fueling the growth.

BK:  Okay.

MR:  It’s hiring people, establishing more locations, bringing the business in, and being able to support it. And that’s the number-one priority.

BH:  Yeah, the timing is extremely critical.

BK:  Mm-hmm.

BH:  So, right now is the time that the industry is exploding—

BK:  Okay, good.

BH:  —and so we have no time to waste to continue fueling this growth. And without Hexagon, we wouldn’t be able to do that ourselves, so the combination of the two of us together is going to make a big impact.

BK:  Great. What kind of changes are you looking at in the industry, with this whole thing?

BH:  The whole industry is transforming. So the future of transportation is being reinvented, and we are right in the middle of helping enable that to happen.

BK:  Okay. Any specific ways are you attacking this?

BH:  So many different ways, but essentially what we do is that we pull together an ecosystem of technologies—

BK:  Sure.

BH:  —and integrate them together, and we enable our customers to build automated-driving technologies.

BK:  Okay.

MR:  And we will be using the Hexagon network to go from the automotive industry as well as industries like mining, defense, agriculture … use our current relationships with all those customers—

BK:  Sure.

MR:  —to broaden, basically, the horizon with that technology.

BK:  Okay. How do you expect the autonomous industry to respond?

MR:  So far, only positive.

BH:  Absolutely.

BK:  Good.

BH:  100 percent positive.

MR:  Every one of the shared customers, every one of the either Hexagon or AutonomouStuff customers have all been very complimentary of this acquisition.

BK:  Any specific examples from people that you’ve worked with saying, “Wow, this has helped us in this way,” for example?

BH:  Yeah, there are plenty of examples.

BK:  Any that stand out?

BH:  I mean, most of our customers are also transitioning from proof of concepts to fleets or to something larger—

BK:  Mm-hmm.

BH:  —closer to a consumer product. And during that transition, they’re also scaling out, which requires us to scale with them.

BK:  Okay.

BH:  And so the announcement of the acquisition was perfect timing because they were kind of wondering how we were going to scale with them fast enough, and the combination that we have together here is perfect for them.

BK:  That’s great.

MR:  And Hexagon is pretty well known in the automotive industry for both the MI business as well as the PI business.

BK:  Mm-hmm.

MR:  So having Hexagon partnering with AutonomouStuff this way has definitely given a lot of credibility to do the abilities of AutonomouStuff to scale up.

BK:  Mm-hmm. Excellent. Good, good. Well, any other exciting things to share that are happening with this acquisition, this merger?

MR:  We will be exploring. That’s all we can say. [Laughs]

BH:  Absolutely.

BK:  Okay.

MR:  We will be exploring. We’re looking for pretty big growth both in revenue as well as in how big the company is going to be.

BH:  Yeah. The opportunities of converging all the technologies that Hexagon has and the companies that they own in this space is massive. I’m excited to get to work.

MR:  Yep.

BK:  Good.

MR:  Absolutely.

BK: All right. Well, you can keep up with more information on this and also updates and exciting things that you guys continue to work on. Please go to a hexagonpositioning.com to learn more. But thank you both. Really appreciate your time today, and thanks for sharing all of this. Congratulations and glad this has worked out really well.

MR:  Thanks a lot.

BH:  Yeah, thank you for having us.

BK:  Absolutely. All right. Go to hxgnspotlight.com to listen to additional episodes. And thank you very much for tuning in.

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