Lidar Maker Luminar Goes Public

Luminar CEO Austin Russell

A few months after reaching a formal deal to go public by the way of a reverse merger, the lidar maker Luminar has completed its merger with the blank-check firm Gores Metropoulos and began trading on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange under the ticker “LAZR”.

The merger handed over $600 million cash to Luminar, money the company will now use to sustain and further its operations. Luminar started life as a public company with a market value of about $6 billion, an exceedingly high figure for a company that expects to make just $15 million in sales this year.

It’s apparent that Luminar has drawn great investor sentiment and gotten a large market value of about $6 billion as a result, up from its initial target of $3.4 billion. 

Luminar is a company that’s working on lidar sensors, the sensors usually placed in autonomous vehicles to enable them to measure distances between objects in their path. The lidar maker has sealed strategic partnerships with 50 companies including the automakers Daimler, Toyota, and Volvo, three of which it’ll work with to develop self-driving vehicles.

Luminar expects to report $15 million in sales this year but has ambitious projections of making over $800 million in annual revenue by 2025.

Luminar is notably led by a CEO who is only 25 years old and has now become a billionaire (worth $2.4 billion) thanks to the value of his stake in Luminar. He founded Luminar when he was 17 years old after dropping out of the prestigious Stanford University.

Photo: Luminar CEO Austin Russell by Collision Conf is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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