Amazon continues to drive itself: Shares soar as it buys into the originator of Lidar
Amazon.com INC. ‘s Amazon.com NV Investment Holdings LLC has agreed to issue warrants to buy up to 39.6 million shares of the company, Velodyne Said Tuesday.Velodyne currently has 196 million shares.Velodyne, which hit a record low of $3.13 on Jan. 24, jumped more than 50 percent in early trading and nearly 30 percent in intraday trading, but closed 7.16 percent higher at $4.04.Velodyne saw trading volume of 88.13 million shares, or 44.862%, well above the previous average of 3.7 million.The warrant transaction between Amazon and Velodyne, the vesting of the warrant shares is based on amazon’s discretionary payments under existing commercial agreements related to the use of Velodyne’s technology.The transaction is in line with amazon’s June 2021 warrant transaction with Chi Plus technology, both by binding business and equity.Amazon’s investment in Velodyne is another major move in the autonomous driving sector, following its investment in Aurora in February 2019, acquisition of Zoox in June 2020 for more than $1 billion, and partnership with SmartPlus in June 2021.According to Che Zhijun’s information shows that there is a huge amount of capital in the market for automatic driving.It is worth mentioning that Amazon has placed an order for 100,000 electric vans to Rivian, a heavy warehouse electric vehicle company. Amazon’s unmanned layout in warehousing and logistics will be further improved with the promotion of the above investment and cooperation.In addition to satisfying Amazon’s strategic aspirations, investments in electrification and autonomous driving may also pay off hand-in-hand.01 Amazon chooses the lidar autonomous driving route to be completely unmanned, or the L4 level and above automatic driving. The mainstream technical solutions are pure vision technology solutions led by Tesla and lidar technology solutions led by Waymo.Globally, only Tesla seems to be sticking to its claim that it can be completely driverless with pure vision, and most players are going for the lidar solution.Amazon’s investment in Velodyne, the originator of lidar, can be seen as amazon’s partial choice of lidar for fully autonomous driving technology. After all, Aurora, Zoox, and Zhica technologies are all lidar technology solutions.For Amazon, Rivian, which has a heavy warehouse, can provide electric box trucks, and Zoox, which is acquired, can provide automatic driving technology on urban roads required by electric box trucks. After all, Zoox aims to build Robotaxi, and the scene of Robotaxi is similar to that of electric box trucks.And the difficulty factor may be slightly lower, after all, compared with carrying people, the comfort of the object does not need to be considered.The cooperation with Zhijia technology is obviously to meet Amazon’s demand for automatic driving of trunk logistics. In the cooperation with Zhijia Technology, the basis for the redemption of warrants is that Amazon purchases 10,000 sets of zhijia technology’s automatic driving system for heavy trucks.Trunk line logistics is an important part of Amazon warehouse logistics unmanned, which is why Amazon wants to seek cooperation with Zhijia Technology.With the addition of lidar technology, Amazon can stand on the shoulders of predecessors in the field of autonomous driving in a short period of time to realize the unmanned strategy of warehousing and logistics, which is crucial for Amazon as an e-commerce platform.Amazon has signed a warrant agreement with Velodyne to subscribe up to 39.6 million shares. Based on Velodyne’s existing share capital of 196 million shares, this is about 20% of the equity subscription, which is similar to the warrant agreement between Amazon and Smartech.After amazon completes the purchase of 10,000 sets of Zhijia Autonomous driving system, it has the right to purchase 20% equity of Zhijia at a certain price.In other words, Amazon has played the warrants to perfection.Warrants for Amazon, on the basis of business cooperation, amazon is better than other financial investors to know the development of cooperative companies, including technology, business, team and other aspects. The existence of warrants is a convenient tool for Amazon to enlarge its own value.It’s rare for a startup to partner with a backer dad with business and money.Aurora shares owned by Amazon are only 5.2%. After the merger of Uber ATG, Uber’s autonomous driving division, Uber shares 20% more than Amazon. Aurora’s development direction is to be a platform autonomous driving company, which is engaged in both autonomous driving of passenger cars and autonomous driving of commercial vehicles.To meet the needs of shareholders and strategic partners Uber, PACCAR and Volvo Group.Aurora, in which Amazon holds only 5.2% of the shares, is unable to meet its needs. That’s why Amazon has spent more than $1 billion to acquire Zoox, signed a strategic partnership with SmartPlus technology, and is now investing in Velodyne, a lidar company.What’s next for Amazon?For Amazon, autonomous driving vehicle platform is an issue that must be considered. Only the autonomous driving algorithm + autonomous driving vehicle platform can truly commercialize autonomous driving.Rivian can solve the needs of electric box trucks, so Amazon needs new partners to provide heavy trucks of trunk logistics, especially electric heavy trucks.Look, aren’t new entrepreneurial opportunities coming?For Amazon, the heavy Rivian position brought huge gains, leading directly to a strong Q4 earnings report for 2021. Amazon’s stock jumped 16% in a single day after the results were released, which is a phenomenal increase for a company with a market value of more than $1.6 trillion.Having tasted the rewards of investing in Rivian, an electric-car company, Amazon has both a template and ammunition for autonomous driving.