Nuro, a delivery-focused, robotics company based in Mountain View, California, announced Monday it had secured $940 million in financing from the London-based SoftBank Vision Fund — bringing total investment in Nuro to more than $1 billion, the company said in a statement.
SoftBank Vision Fund, a London-based subsidiary of the Japanese firm SoftBank, is a $100 billion fund that invests $100 million or more into companies it believes are “growth stage leading companies,” according to Crunchbase.com. The fund focuses on high-tech industries backing firms in sectors including robotics, biotech, the internet of things (IoT), cloud technologies and software, and artificial intelligence (AI).
“Nuro’s world-class team has successfully scaled their self-driving technology out of the lab and into the streets,” said Michael Ronen, managing partner, SoftBank Investment Advisers, in a statement. “In just two years Dave, Jiajun and team have developed Nuro from a concept into a real business using robotics to connect retailers to customers.”
The company is led by Dave Ferguson and Jiajun Zhu, who each worked previously at Google’s self-driving car project (now Waymo). Other investors on Nuro include Greylock Partners and Gaorong Capital. Greylock has also invested in Aurora Innovation Inc., which announced completion of a $530 million round of financing just the week before. This latest influx of funds includes capital from Amazon in what was widely suggested to bea strategic bet on driverless delivery.
Nuro has developed a self-driving car that customers are now using to make deliveries of take-out food and groceries. In 2018 it launched a delivery service available to a neighborhood around a Fry’s grocery store in Scottsdale, Arizona. Nuro said it would use the new financing to expand its delivery service “to new geographies, add new partners, scale its fleet, extend and mature its general self-driving technology, and significantly grow its team.”