Nuro Raises $940M from SoftBank to Expand Self-Driving Delivery Vehicle Reach

Kroger and Nuro have added the R1 unmanned grocery delivery vehicle to its fleet in Scottsdale, Ariz. Source: Nuro

February 11, 2019      

Nuro, a robotics company that uses self-driving delivery vehicles to move groceries and prepared meals to customers on demand, today announced it raised $940 million in financing from the SoftBank Vision Fund. With the latest investment, Nuro has raised more than $1 billion in funding from partners that include SoftBank, Greylock Partners, and Gaorong Capital.

The company “is making local delivery fast and affordable with its self-driving service,” the company said in its press announcement. The custom-build unmanned road vehicle enables deliveries of all kinds, from picking up groceries to delivering dinner, the company said. “Nuro strives to create a world where everything can be delivered affordably and on-demand.”

Dave Ferguson Nuro unmanned grocery article

Dave Ferguson, Nuro president and co-founder.

“We’ve spent the last two and a half years building an amazing team, launching our first unmanned service, working with incredible partners and creating technology to fundamentally improve our daily lives,” said Dave Ferguson, Nuro co-founder. “This partnership gives us the opportunity to take the next step in realizing our vision for local commerce and the broad application of our technology.

New locations, scaling the fleet

Last year, Nuro secured a national partnership with grocery chain Kroger to enable grocery delivery, licensed its self-driving technology to autonomous trucking company Ike (which received $52 million in funding last week), and launched its unmanned delivery service for the general public in Arizona.

Nuro said it will 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.

“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 of SoftBank Investment Advisers. “In just two years, Dave, Jiajun [Zhu] and team have developed from a concept into a real business using robotics to connect retailers to customers.”

The last-mile delivery space for autonomous vehicles and mobile robots is accelerating quickly. Other companies in this space include StarshipMarbleRobby TechnologiesPiaggio Fast Forward, and Boxbot, among others.