Luminar Technologies Continues to Soar

Luminar Technologies continues its run up since going public last week in a reverse merger. Shares in Luminar (LAZR) have soared over 250% since combining with Gores Metropoulos last Thursday.

Gores Metropoulos is a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) sponsored by private equity firm The Gores Group in Los Angeles.

Luminar is a maker of Iris LiDAR and software products for self-driving technology in consumer vehicles, trucking, and robo-taxis.

With the SPAC merger, Luminar received approximately $590 million total cash. This includes $406 million from Gores Metropoulos, as well as $184 million in proceeds from the financing completed in connection with the announcement of the Business Combination, led by institutional investors including Alec Gores, Van Tuyl Companies, Peter Thiel, Volvo Cars Tech Fund, Crescent Cove, Moore Strategic Ventures, Nick & Jill Woodman (founders of GoPro) and VectoIQ.

Luminar founder and CEO Austin Russell.

What’s amazing about Luminar is CEO Austin Russell is just 25 years old. He started the company eight years ago out of high school and won a Thiel Fellowshiip from PayPal founder Peter Thiel that lets promising students skip college and receive a $100,000 grant. Russell briefly attended Stanford in its applied physics department.

Now Russell has over 104 million shares in Luminar worth more than $4 billion after last week’s stock offering.

Luminar has 350 employees with offices in Palo Alto, Orlando, Colorado Springs, Detroit, and Munich, Germany.