Jun 23, 2021 - Economy

Lidar firm that once pushed for border wall sensors to go public via China-backed SPAC

red and blue illustration of man drawing line

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Quanergy Systems, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based developer of solid-state lidar sensors, agreed to go public at an implied $1.4 billion equity value via CITIC Capital Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: CCAC).

Why it matters: There's likely to be political scrutiny on this one, given that the SPAC sponsor is backed by the Chinese government and the SPAC target once angled to have its technology integrated into Trump's border wall (although its current business appears focused on auto and IoT applications).

  • ROI: Quanergy raised around $325 million from firms like Newbury Ventures, Rising Tide Fund, G Squared, Manhattan Venture Partners, MicroVentures, Delphi Automotive, Daimler, Reform Ventures, Canas Capital, Trans-Pacific Technology Fund and HOF Capital.
  • The bottom line: "Quanergy is a developer of solid state silicon lidar units, which pulses a low-power laser through an optical phased array to measure the distance and shape of objects. Historically, lidar sensors involved moving parts — generally some mechanism to rotate the laser so it can scan the surrounding area. The company also develops perception software that interprets the sensor data." — Aria Alamalhodaei, TechCrunch
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