The five-year-old robotics startup Nuro has landed a whopping $600 million venture round to accelerate development of its four-wheeled carts for package transportation, saying the money will help it to commercialize its “zero-occupant autonomous delivery vehicles.”
The “series D” round was led by Tiger Global Management with participation from Baillie Gifford, Fidelity Management & Research Company, LLC, Gaorong Capital, Google, Kroger, SoftBank Vision Fund 1, funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., Woven Capital, and other existing investors.
California-based Nuro says its technology can address long-standing industry pain points and the e-commerce consumer trends that were supercharged during the pandemic.
The backing follows a $40 million investment that Nuro itself made in August to develop two facilities in southern Nevada—an end-of-line manufacturing facility and a closed-course test track—to scale up production of the company’s third-generation autonomous vehicle. Nuro also has several high-profile customers that are running trials of those vehicles, including a multi-year partnership with FedEx announced in June and a pizza delivery pilot with fast-food giant Domino’s.
But according to its investors, Nuro’s technology could soon begin to play a much larger role in the e-commerce economy. “The arrival of ubiquitous on-demand e-commerce is changing the way we access goods. Demand for local deliveries is exploding. Nuro is the bridge to an era of sustainable, low cost, autonomous local delivery,” Griffin Schroeder, partner at Tiger Global, said in a release.
The rocketing growth of e-commerce in recent months is also driving comparable product development from other parcel delivery bot builders like Marble and Starship Technologies, both of which say their platforms provide reliable, autonomous solutions for the flood of online commerce across various sectors.
We're pleased to announce our recently closed series D funding round. This $600 million round was led by Tiger Global Management with participation from others.— Nuro (@nurobots) November 2, 2021
We're thrilled to have the support to continue our commercialization of zero-occupant autonomous delivery vehicles. pic.twitter.com/ZLXqaXJ6mV