Luminar founder Austin Russell has become one of the youngest self-made billionaires after his lidar company debuted on public markets on Thursday. Russell, 25, was just 17 when he founded Luminar in 2012. Shares of Luminar rose above $30 a share on Friday, a massive 43 percent gain for the day on top of big gains on Thursday.
Luminar has emerged as one of the leading companies in the fast-growing lidar industry. Carmakers are expected to begin offering lidar as an advanced option for their vehicles in the next few years to enable better driver-assistance technology. Right now, lidar companies are vying to win contracts to supply these sensors.
Luminar had a major win in May when it signed a deal with Volvo to supply lidar sensors for vehicles starting in 2022. It was one of the first such deals in the industry.