Research Note

August 2022 Are Western Lidar Manufacturers Entering a Dark Age While Their Chinese Rivals Race Forward?

August 2022


LightCounting releases a research note on adoption of autonomous driving and progress made by lidar suppliers. “Stock market correction of historic proportions” is how Masayoshi Son described the current situation, as SoftBank’s flagship Vision Funds reported a record ¥3.1tn ($23bn) quarterly net loss this week. Softbank invested heavily into disruptive technologies over the past two decades and many of the bets paid off well, including Alibaba. Ignoring the risk of these bets was a mistake, as Mr. Son confessed in a recent presentation to Softbank’s shareholders: “I am ashamed of myself for being so elated by big profits in the past.” With this background in mind, data shown in Figure 1 is not too surprising. The market correction decimated the stock prices of the 6 publicly traded western lidar makers tracked by LightCounting Market Research, along with many other high-tech companies in the US and Europe. Another concern of the investors is that all the vendors, shown in Figure 1, are tiny businesses, that would have never been publicly traded if it were not for SPACs. Velodyne, the largest of the pack, reported around $60 million in revenue last year. Intel’s Mobileye is a dominant player in autonomous driving technology, offering a full stack solution: from ICs, to software and even lidars. Intel announced plans to spin off Mobileye in 2022, but this will not happen until market conditions improve. The full text of the research note is available to LightCounting subscribers by logging into their accounts.

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