Nuro Inc. yesterday announced that it has raised $600 million in Series D funding. The company said it will use the financing to support further development and deployment of its autonomous delivery service across the U.S. Financial and strategic investors included Google, Kroger, and SoftBank.
“We’re thrilled to have the backing of these prominent investors and world-class companies, and honored that they support our vision of improving communities and revitalizing local commerce,” said Dave Ferguson, co-founder and president of Nuro. “We believe this investment will allow us to accelerate our commercialization strategy and better everyday life with Nuro’s technology.”
Mountain View, Calif.-based Nuro said its custom electric autonomous vehicles are designed to bring everything from produce to prescriptions right to customers' homes. The company claimed that its alternative to driving is convenient and environmentally friendly and could make streets safer and cities more livable.
Nuro moves toward commercialization
Nuro said its “fundamental rethinking of autonomous vehicles and the opportunity to transform local commerce has garnered attention from prominent commercial partners in a variety of industries.” Nuro has piloted autonomous local delivery for communities in Texas, Arizona, and California.
Earlier this year, the company announced a $40 million investment in an end-of-line manufacturing and a closed-course test track in southern Nevada to commercialize and scale production of its third-generation autonomous vehicle.
Nuro has also recently announced a multi-year partnership with FedEx and has piloted pizza delivery with Domino’s in Houston.
The company said its latest funding will enable it to expand its team, deploy its system at scale, and address “long-standing pain points” and shifting consumer behavior accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Investors look to local delivery
Tiger Global Management led Nuro's Series D round. Baillie Gifford, Fidelity Management & Research Co., Gaorong Capital, Google, Kroger, SoftBank Vision Fund 1, funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates Inc., Toyota's Woven Capital unit, and other existing investors participated. Nuro raised $500 million in Series C funding a year ago.
“The arrival of ubiquitous on-demand e-commerce is changing the way we access goods,” said Griffin Schroeder, partner at Tiger Global. “Demand for local deliveries is exploding. Nuro is the bridge to an era of sustainable, low-cost, autonomous local delivery.”
“Kroger launched its partnership with Nuro in 2018 to explore grocery delivery through autonomous vehicles,” said Yael Cosset, senior vice president and chief information officer at Kroger. “Since then, Kroger and Nuro completed thousands of deliveries to our customers—driving innovation that supports our expanding seamless ecosystem by creating consistent and rewarding customer experiences with scalable, sustainable, and profitable solutions.”
Nuro has also signed a five-year strategic partnership with Google Cloud to support the scale and capacity required to run self-driving simulation workloads, machine learning to improve model accuracy, and storage to manage important data from the vehicles. The partners said they will also explore opportunities together to strengthen and transform local commerce.
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