A $465 million IPO aims to overtake Tesla's technology: “LeddarTech's success will be Quebec”

“The success of LeddarTech will be Quebecois,” proclaims proudly Newspaper the automotive software technology chief who is floating on the NASDAQ today at a valuation of $465 million, looking to overtake Tesla thanks to his intellectual property developed here.

“Tesla’s technology has not been tested under all conditions and in all environments,” Frantz Saintellemy, president and chief operating officer of LeddarTech, calmly tells the Journal.

“This means that the system cannot be 100% functional. “In addition, it is a technology based primarily on a camera sensor, so it works less well in less than ideal weather and road conditions,” he continues.

A $465 million IPO aims to overtake Tesla's technology:

Founded 16 years ago, LeddarTech’s first shareholder is ams OSRAM (Austria), explains Frantz Saintellemy, followed by SOFIMAC (France), then BDC and Investissement Québec (IQ).

Over the past five years, Quebec has invested more than $85 million in LeddarTech (see table below). The BDC refused to disclose its involvement.

Last June, the company told the Journal it wanted to go public in order to keep its headquarters in Quebec. LeddarTech has filed more than 150 patent applications (of which 80 have been granted), particularly related to autonomous driving assistance and remote sensing systems.

“Made in Quebec»

In Quebec, the company developed its innovations that piqued the curiosity of around thirty manufacturers and equipment suppliers of all sizes, whose names, with the exception of Ficos (a subsidiary of the Japanese giant Panasonic), must remain secret to avoid disclosing their business strategy.

His strength? LeddarTech has managed to develop software that is as powerful as it is unique using data from sensors, radars, ultrasound and lidars.

As Tesla recalls two million cars due to defects in its Autopilot driving system, LeddarTech’s innovation is in the running as the company has been working on high-precision, cutting-edge driving devices for years.

Neural Networks»

Will we soon see fleets of driverless cars from major manufacturers on our roads to drop off passengers? “Not at all,” says LeddarTech number 1.

“We don’t yet have enough data to train neural networks to understand how people will react,” analyzes Frantz Saintellemy.

“As long as people are traveling with robots, we will still need a lot of time,” he concludes.

Financial support for LeddarTech

  • 2019: $33 million ($19.8 million in interest-only loan and $13.2 million in convertible notes)
  • 2021: $17 million convertible note
  • 2022: $11.5 million worth of preferred stock
  • 2023: $3.75 million loan
  • 2023: $20.1 million convertible notes

Source: Ministry of Economy, Innovation and Energy and Investissement Québec

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