Autonomous e-commerce robot maker Nuro secures $500 million in funding

Nuro capitalises on the boost to e-commerce in 2020 and has raised half a billion dollars to push forward its R2 prototype

The Nuro R2 [Credit: the Kroger Co.]

Nuro, a start-up looking to produce autonomous e-commerce delivery vehicles, has raised $500 million in funding.

The new round was led by T. Rowe Price Associates and brought in Fidelity Management & Research Company, LLC. and Baillie Gifford.

This funding round follows on from another last year, where Nuro raised nearly a billion dollars from investment giant SoftBank, which invested further in the latest round.

The latest funding round reportedly raises the value of the company to $5 billion.

The funding will go towards development of the company’s R2 autonomous vehicle, which is its primary selling point for investors currently. It is being made in Detroit in partnership with Roush Enterprises

Nuro co-founder Dave Ferguson said that the funding will help Nuro expand its team but also scale up manufacturing. He explained that during “next couple of quarters” the R2 would be doing the deliveries to “ramp up a full unmanned delivery service”.

The R2 has four compartments for carrying deliveries and is focused on fulfilling deliveries in suburban and urban areas for the last mile. Currently vehicles are operating in Houston, Texas, Scottsdale, Arizona, and nine cities in California.

According to Ferguson the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the company approval to deploy up to 5,000 R2 vehicles on public roads every year from February, said Ferguson.

Nuro is also engaged in testing self-driving mechanisms with Toyota Prius cars, which are making  shipments for Kroger and CVS in the Houston area.

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