Luminar’s stock is down 44% since it went public. Here’s why CEO Austin Russell still thinks it was a good deal.

Blank-check entities and companies that went public through mergers with them have fallen out of favor on Wall Street.

But Austin Russell still thinks doing such a deal was the right thing for his company.

Luminar Technologies Inc. hit Wall Street via a combination with a special purpose acquisition company in December 2020, becoming the second in a string of eight lidar sensor makers with local ties to go public that way. The biggest facility operated by the maker of lidar sensors for autonomous…