Luminar Backer’s $300 Million SPAC Seeks Southeast Asia Target

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An investor behind autonomous-vehicle technology developer Luminar Technologies Inc. is now seeking a merger target in Southeast Asia after raising about $300 million via a blank-check firm.

Jun Hong Heng’s special purpose acquisition company COVA Acquisition Corp. increased its initial public offering from about $250 million and is on the way to combine with an internet company in the region that includes markets such as Indonesia and Singapore. COVA is set to start trading on the Nasdaq on Friday, it said in a statement.

Heng is the founder and chief investment officer of San Francisco-based Crescent Cove Advisors LP, which backs high-growth technology, media and telecommunications ventures in the U.S. and Southeast Asia.

Crescent Cove was one of the earliest and largest investors in Luminar, a driverless-car startup founded by entrepreneur Austin Russell. Luminar went public via a $3.4 billion merger with blank-check company Gores Metropoulos Inc. last year. Russell serves as a senior adviser of COVA.

“We currently intend to focus our efforts on identifying high growth technology and tech-enabled businesses in Southeast Asia in the consumer internet, e-commerce and software industries,” COVA said in a filing on Jan. 30.

The company’s directors include prominent Indonesian investor Pandu Sjahrir and Alvin Widarta Sariaatmadja, an executive at PT Elang Mahkota Teknologi, an Indonesian media and technology conglomerate.

Cantor Fitzgerald is acting as the sole book-running manager for the offering.

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