Colonnade (CLA) Spikes On Report Of Merger Deal With Self-driving Startup Ouster

Colonnade Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: CLA), a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), is up 35% in early trading on Tuesday on a Reuters report of a merger deal with lidar startup Ouster.

According to the publication, Ouster, a tech company manufacturing mechanical and solid-state lidar (light detection and ranging) used in self-driving cars, plans to go public at a roughly $1.9 billion valuation. The report also notes that the acquisition could be announced as early as today.

Since its inception in 2015, the San Francisco-based Ouster — a company that counts over 450 paying customers as of 2020 across 15 markets, including May Mobility, Kodiak Robotics, the U.S. Army, NASA, Stanford University, and MIT — has raised $142 million from private market investors including Cox Automotive and Fontinalis Partners, a VC firm that’s co-owned by Ford Motor’s (F) Chairman Bill Ford.

It’s worth noting that despite the pandemic, Ouster saw its Q3/20 bookings jump more than 200% year-over-year, while revenue increased 62%.

A tie-up with the West Palm Beach, FL-based Colonnade, which in its IPO in August raised $200 million, would make Ouster the fifth company in the lidar business this year to agree for a merger with a blank check company, following Velodyne Lidar Inc (VLDR) , Luminar Technologies (LAZR), Innoviz Technologies, and Aeva Inc.

The lidar stocks have gained momentum after another Reuters report said tech giant Apple (AAPL) is planning to build a self-driving car and is targeting 2024 as a potential goal date to enter the market.

Price Action

Colonnade stock is up 31% in the early-hours session Tuesday at $13.24. Stock traded up more than 39% in the after-hours session Monday at $14 & change.

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