Luminar has agreed to a merger with blank-check company Gores Metropoulos, continuing a streak of such deals for companies in the automotive tech space.

The agreement includes a $170 million direct investment led by Alec Gores, founder and CEO of private equity firm Gores Group, as well as Peter ThielVolvo Cars Tech Fund and others. Gores Metropoulos will invest an additional $400 million and the combined company will have an initial market value of around $3.4 billion and be listed on the Nasdaq.

Luminar’s light imaging detection and ranging system, which uses lasers to help direct vehicles, will be sold as a subscription service to automakers and is expected to equip Volvo vehicles beginning in 2022. Operating in California, Florida and Colorado, Luminar has raised private backing from investors including Thiel, Volvo, Canvas Ventures and G2VP. Last year, venture capitalists invested a record $1.3 billion in companies developing lidar technology.

Blank-check companies have recently been the on-ramp of choice for makers of electric and autonomous vehicle tech to enter the public markets. In March, Nikola‘s deal with a SPAC gave it an enterprise valuation of about $3.3 billion, and Fisker was worth $2.9 billion after a reverse merger with an Apollo Global Management-backed SPAC in July. HyliionLordstown MotorsVelodyne Lidar and Canoo have also struck SPAC deals in the last several months.

Source: PitchBook

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