You may recall Elon Musk was quoted saying “lidar was a doomed technology” well Luminar doesn’t think so, as they partnered with Volvo to launch there lidar autonomous driving technology. Luminar is taking a new approach to autonomous driving with a mass adoptable product backed by bold claims that autonomy wont be safe without Lidar.
The biggest benefit to lidar is the wide 3d range of data up to 250 meters away, compared to Tesla’s primary camera based system that has limited range and requires a lot of data input to evolve the autonomous driving software. The biggest concern with lidar was the expensive cost of early technology but today it’s cheaper and much better. Let’s keep in mind Space X uses lidar to dock at the space station.
Luminar Merger With SPAC Stock Gores Metropoulos NASDAQ: GMHI
SPAC “Special purpose acquisition company” Gores Metropoulos NASDAQ: GMHI will be merging with Luminar, the transaction has been unanimously approved by the board of directors of both Luminar and Gores Metropoulos. It is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2020, subject to regulatory and stockholder approvals, and other customary closing conditions.
SPAC NASDAQ: GMHI Stock Key Merger Agreements
- Luminar delivers the world’s first lidar sensor and software to enable autonomous consumer vehicles and trucking for volume production
- Transaction proceeds will be used to accelerate commercial growth across its 50 partners and the expansion of its product roadmap for a turn-key “full-stack” highway autonomy and proactive safety ADAS solution
- Bolstered by the industry’s first high-volume series production win for self-driving vehicles on highways with Volvo Cars
- Pro forma implied enterprise value of approximately $2.9 billion and market capitalization of approximately $3.4 billion
- Transaction includes $400 million of cash from Gores Metropoulos and an immediate $170 million financing into Luminar, anchored by top tier institutional investors including Alec Gores, Van Tuyl Companies, Peter Thiel, Volvo Cars Tech Fund, Crescent Cove, Moore Strategic Ventures, Nick & Jill Woodman and VectoIQ
Founded in 2012 by CEO Austin Russell, Luminar is the leading autonomous vehicle and lidar technology company for consumer cars and trucking. Luminar is partnered with 7 of the top 10 global automakers and is set to power the introduction of highway self-driving and next-generation safety systems. Over 350 people strong, Luminar has built a new type of lidar from the chip-level up with breakthroughs across all core components. As a result, Luminar has created the only lidar sensor that meets the stringent performance, safety and cost requirements for Level 3–Level 5 autonomous vehicles. Integrating this advanced hardware with Luminar’s custom developed software stack enables a turn-key autonomous solution to accelerate widespread adoption with automakers.
Is Luminar A Buy Before The IPO GMHI Stock
Luminar is a fascinating approach to autonomous driving but as an investment, it does come with its own set of risks. From a trade point of view it is likely the stock is going to explode on its IPO due to the incredible hype that has become the Electric Vehicle space.
I would be hesitant on making a long term investment in this SPAC just do to the concern around how proven self driving technology can truly be. If Elon is right and Lidar has no place in autonomy it would be a bold bet against the man who innovated the entire space. However that doesn’t mean they don’t have something and could be worth a deeper analysis along with a hype trade perhaps!
Needless to say lidar is coming up, considering Googles self driving vehicles run off a similar system and showing incredible signs of success. Either way I would add this to your watch list and if they start showing signs of a profitable future might be a considerable long term bet!