Shares of Israel’s Innoviz Technologies, a maker of sensors for self-driving cars, rose 11% on the Nasdaq on its first day of trading on Tuesday, marking the first Israeli tech firm to complete a merger deal with a special purpose acquisition company.
The merger with the SPAC, Collective Growth Corporation, provides Innoviz with some $371 million in proceeds. Shares started trading on Tuesday after the business combination was approved by a stockholders’ meeting of Collective Growth on March 31.
“The successful completion of the business combination will allow Innoviz Technologies to meet the booming demand of the auto industry, which has been waiting for the LiDAR technology to mature,” Innoviz said in a statement ahead of the start of trading on Tuesday.
The Kfar-Saba based maker of LiDAR sensors aims to help automakers improve their vehicles’ safety, perception, connectivity and experience. The sensors provide accurate images of the vehicles’ surroundings through object detection, classification and tracking at long distances. Its flagship product, InnovizOne, is a 3D LiDAR sensor that is designed specifically for use in the automotive industry and for mass production.
The company said on April 5 that high-volume production of its InnovizOne product, which will be used by car maker BMW for its fully electric iX autonomous car program and other car makers, “is expected to provide meaningful future revenues.” It will be one of the first such technologies to be deployed in consumer vehicles.
The company will also continue the introduction of the new generation LiDAR InnovizTwo to the market, which is expected to result in further significant cost reduction and performance improvements to accelerate of safe mobility in all types of cars, the statement said.
Innoviz was founded in 2016 by Omer Keilaf, Oren Rosenzweig, Oren Buskila, and Amit Steinberg.
Israel has been swept by SPAC fever, with other firms announcing they were going to enter the stock market via similar mergers. Tel Aviv-based ironSource, an advertising technology firm, said last month it will merge with Thoma Bravo Advantage a valuation of a whopping $11.1 billion. Fintech firm Payoneer said it will merge with a special purpose company backed FTAC Olympus Acquisition Corp. led by Bancorp founder Betsy Cohen in a deal that values the Israeli firm at $3.3 billion. Online trading platform eToro said in March it will go public via a merger with SPAC FinTech Acquisition Corp V at a valuation of $10.4 billion.