What Is MicroVision? WallStreetBets Subreddit Fuels 47% Price Surge, Mirroring GameStop

The stock price of technology firm MicroVision shot up by nearly 50% during trading on Monday, with the upswing seemingly fueled by discussions on the r/WallStreetBets subreddit.

The Reddit community was the force behind GameStop's meteoric surge in value earlier this year, but MicroVision (MVIS) has now leapfrogged the games retailer as the most talked about stock on r/WallStreetBets.

MicroVision, which has now been dubbed a "meme stock," opened at $19.75 on Monday, and its share value rose by 47.1 percent during trading, closing at $26.44.

The stock rose by a further 9.2 percent in after-hours trading, eventually settling at $28.87 after soaring as high as $29.43.

At the start of 2021, a MicroVision stock had been worth $5.38, and a year ago, on April 27, 2020, its value was just $0.26.

This means that, over the past 12 months, its value has increased by more than 11,000 percent.

The company, which is based in Redmond, Washington and was founded in 1993, is behind a laser scanning technology called PicoP, which presents a multitude of potential smart-home, augmented-reality and security applications, and could also be used for collision avoidance in self-driving cars.

MicroVision will announce its financial results for the first quarter of 2021 on Thursday, after the close of the market.

According to Quiver Quantitative, which tracks information about stocks across the web, MicroVision was mentioned on r/WallStreetBets 2,532 times on Monday. GameStop attracted 1,302 mentions on the subreddit during the same period (via the financial news site Benzinga).

Justin Zhen, the co-founder of Thinknum Alternative Data, which provides a similar service to Quiver Quantitative, told CNBC that this is the first time that any stock has been spoken about more than GameStop on r/WallStreetBets.

At the time of writing, one of the top posts on the subreddit, with more than 11,000 upvotes, read: "I became an MVIS Millionaire Today!" The post is accompanied by a screenshot detailing the changes in the value of the user's investment.

Similar updates can be found from several Reddit users, while others have taken to the subreddit to offer explanations as to why they believe that the stock is worth investing in, and to circulate rumors about MicroVision's future plans and potential partnership with larger companies.

GameStop socks spiked by more than 1,500 percent in January, as amateur investors united to conduct a coordinated squeeze on the stock, in response to several hedge funds that had been routinely shorting it.

GameStop is currently worth $168.95 at time of writing, having hit an all-time high closing price of $347.51 on January 27.

Other stocks that have also seen their value skyrocket in response to efforts by followers of r/WallStreetBets include Nokia, AMC and BlackBerry.

MicroVision personal display technology
A demonstration of MicroVision's Nomad Personal Display System at the CIBC World Markets conference May 15, 2002 in New York City. The MicroVision stock has surged in value after the company became a hot topic of conversation on r/WallStreetBets. Mario Tama/Getty Images