Are There Too Many LiDAR Companies?

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Wired article "There Are Too Many Lidar Companies. They Can't All Survive" quotes Shahin Farshchi, a partner at VC fund Lux who invests in LiDAR company Aeva, saying that for every 10 LiDAR startups "three will fold, four will be acquired for modest sums, and the remainder will produce impressive returns."

Recently, the LiDAR industry has shown signs of consolidation, and some see a shakeout coming. Luminar CEO Austin Russell says he has been approached by a half-dozen competitors asking if Luminar would be interested in acquiring them.

Meanwhile, France’s Valeo has logged $564 million worth of orders for its LiDARs, which work best for shorter distances.

Reuters: Alternative uses and customers are needed to keep revenue flowing at LiDAR startups waiting for the expected boom in self-driving cars, which still looks to be years away. For smaller LiDAR companies backed by venture capital, developing new markets is key.


Henry Patent Law Firm publishes its LiDAR patent landscape analysis:


According to Woodside Capital Partners presentation, investment in LiDAR companies is far greater than in other AV vision solutions:


PhotonicsSpectra publishes Greg Smolka's, VP of business development at Insight LiDAR, article on the VC market:

"According to IDTechEx, as of August, $1.9 billion was invested in the 2019 lidar market. PitchBook’s third quarter 2019 Mobility Tech report shows that the lidar industry was on track for a record year, with approximately $1.2 billion in venture capital (VC) investment in the first three quarters of the year. Since 2009, investors have deployed over $2.5 billion in VC dollars into the industry.

With 100 or so players in the market, many offering similar technology, consolidation is bound to happen. [Dexin Chen, senior analyst at IHS Markit] said we’ve begun to see an uptick in mergers and acquisitions for lidar makers. Ultimately, those that prevail will have the ability to meet all of the specifications necessary for L4/L5 AVs, including cost targets. The vast majority of companies working on automotive lidar are also pursuing other applications such as security, mapping, and industrial automation. While the automotive lidar market may consolidate, technological advancements driven by this market will have far-reaching effects.
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