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Ford Sells Stake In Velodyne Lidar: Could Automaker Be Looking Elsewhere For Autonomous Tech?

Ford Sells Stake In Velodyne Lidar: Could Automaker Be Looking Elsewhere For Autonomous Tech?

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F), an investor in Velodyne Lidar Inc (NASDAQ: VLDR), which went public in a 2020 SPAC merger, has sold its stake for a profit. 

What Happened: Ford sold its stake in Velodyne Lidar after seeing a large gain from the company going public, according to Bloomberg.

Ford owned a 7.6% stake in Velodyne. The stake was worth $244.2 million at the end of the third quarter. Ford paid $75 million for the stake in 2016.

“This is consistent with our efforts to make the best, highest use of capital. We are using Veodyne technology in our autonomous vehicles,” Ford spokesman T.R. Reid said.

Related Link: Fourth Lidar Company Goes Public With Innoviz SPAC Deal: What Investors Should Know

Why It’s Important: Several lidar companies going public via SPAC, and there are many competitors in the industry.

Ford is an investor in several lidar companies, which could make the departure from the Velodyne investment an interesting angle to watch.

Ford is an investor in Argo AI, an autonomous vehicle company led by former Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) and Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE: UBER) staff.

Ford invested $1 billion in Argo AI six months after its investment in Velodyne. Argo is working on its own lidar technology to go along with its self-driving system.

Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford is also an investor in lidar company Ouster, which is going public with SPAC Colonnade Acquisition Corp (NYSE: CLA).

Given the sale of this investment and Ford's relationships with other lidar companies, this will be an interesting story to follow. For the numerous lidar companies in the market, finding investments and signing partnerships with key auto companies is key for revenue and brand awareness. 

F, VLDR Price Action: Shares of Velodyne were down 6.46% at $21.72 at last check Tuesday. 

Photo courtesy of Velodyne. 


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