Venture Capital: Nuro, Which Makes Self Driving Vehicles For Local Deliveries, Raises $500M

November 10, 2020 | News, Venture Capital
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Nuro’s self-driving delivery robot R2’s are already navigating the roads.

Nuro, a four-year-old start-up that is developing self-driving delivery robots, has several firsts to its credit. Earlier this year, it’s R2 robot became the first autonomous vehicle to be approved by the US Department of Transportation. It then became the second autonomous vehicle to win a driverless testing permit in California. Lastly, Nuro has the distinction to be testing R2 for the past few months in the three different states of California, Texas, and Arizona. It announced Monday its new $ 500 million Series C funding round. (Medium)

The company is authorized to deploy up to 5000 R2 vehicles on public roads. There are currently driving around in Mountain View, Houston, and Scottsdale.

Series C

The latest funding round was led by funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., with participation from new investors including Fidelity Management & Research Company, LLC. and Baillie Gifford. Existing investors SoftBank Vision Fund 1 and Greylock are also investing in the round.

The company said the new money will secure “a long runway of future technology development and commercialization.”

It plans to expand its team as well as scale-up manufacturing.

According to a Reuters report, the valuation of the company has doubled to $ 5 billion, from what it was when it raised $ 940 million early last year from SoftBank.

The company’s fortunes have received a boost because of the dramatic rise in e-commerce volumes following the coronavirus pandemic. It reports a growing list of partners including Domino’s (NYSE: DPZ), Walmart (NYSE: WMT), Kroger (NYSE: KR), and CVS (NYSE: CVS).

Self-driving vehicles use case

According to Nuro, self-driving local delivery vehicles will make it easier to buy groceries, hot food, prescription drugs, and other products.

Furthermore, they will have a beneficial impact on local economies. They could also serve the low-income communities living in food deserts.

In a contagion situation such as the virus pandemic, vehicles such as Nuro’s R2 can deliver essential items safely and without spreading infection.

“We are witnessing an unprecedented shift in consumer demand for safe and affordable local delivery services,” Zhu, CEO and co-founder of Nuro said.

Related Story:     California Headquartered Chinese Driverless Company Pony.ai Raises $267M

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