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Velodyne Aims For Reverse Public Listing

A Velodyne lidar fitted on a Ford vehicle.
Photo credit: Ford

Velodyne, the lidar manufacturer backed by among others Ford and Chinese search giant Baidu, is in talks for a reverse listing with Graf Industrial Corp in order to debut on the public markets, according to a source familiar with the matter. Graf is working with an adviser on a possible merger with Velodyne, according to our source. Last year, Velodyne was reported to have hired bankers to spearhead a possible public listing but it seems the company has decided to take the "backdoor" method of going public by merging with a Special Purpose Acquisition Corporation (SPAC). SPACs, in this case, are corporate entities taken public for the sole purpose of merging with another private company.

As a private company, Velodyne has raised some $225 million in funding. The company's last-known private funding gave it a valuation of $1.8 billion, a valuation Velodyne may be seeking to surpass on the public markets. Graf Industrial, the intended SPAC for Velodyne, held an initial public offering that raised $225 million in 2018. Earlier this year, the company reportedly held merger talks with PureCycle Technologies, a plastic recycling company.

Shares of Graf Industrial have risen in reaction to reports of Velodyne merger talks.

Recently, another private technology company, Shift, the online used car retailer, was also reported to be eyeing a reverse listing with a SPAC. Such reverse listings have as of recent become a more popular way for companies to go public. This year alone has seen the public listings of companies such as DraftKings and Nikola Motor Corp via reverse listings.





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