Self-driving car startup gets backing from Amazon

February 08, 2019 //By Rich Pell
Self-driving car startup gets backing from Amazon
Self-driving car startup Aurora Innovation (Palo Alto, CA) has announced that it has raised more than $530 million in Series B financing from investors including Sequoia Capital and Amazon.

Founded in 2016 by veterans of the self-driving vehicle industry, the company is designing the Aurora Driver "full stack" of software and hardware technology that "will power the next revolution in transportation." The latest funding, says the company, will accelerate its mission of delivering the benefits of self-driving technology safely, quickly, and broadly.

"Since we set out on our mission two years ago to deliver the benefits of self-driving technology safely, quickly and broadly, we have received an incredible amount of support and interest in the future we are building," says the company in a blog post announcing the funding. "With this newest investment, we will accelerate the development of the Aurora Driver and strengthen our team and ecosystem."

Amazon's share of the financing was not revealed. It has been previously reported that the tech giant has been researching autonomous vehicle technology.

On Amazon's investment in the company, Aurora says "Amazon's unique expertise, capabilities, and perspectives will be valuable for us as we drive towards our mission."

Aurora's co-founder and CEO, Chris Urmson, served as CTO of self-driving cars at Alphabet. Co-founder and Chief Product Officer Sterling Anderson led the design and launch of the Tesla Model X. Drew Bagnell, chief technology officer and co-founder, was a founding member of Uber's Advanced Technology Center.

Carl Eschenbach, Partner at Sequoia, which led the round, will join the company's board of directors. He joins the company's existing external directors of Mike Volpi, Reid Hoffman, and Ian Smith.

Other participants in the funding round included Lightspeed Venture Partners, Geodesic, Shell Ventures, and Reinvent Capital, as well as previous investors Greylock and Index Ventures. Funds advised by T. Rowe Price Associates Inc. also made a "significant" contribution, the company says.

Aurora Innovation

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