© ljupco smokovski dreamstime.com General | February 10, 2019
Aurora Innovation secures major Series B boost
Aurora Innovation, maker of the Aurora Driver, a self-driving technology system, has received approximately USD 530 million, led by Sequoia Capital, in its second round of funding.
Other investors in this round include Amazon, and funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates Inc. In a recently published blog on Medium.com, Aurora cited Lightspeed Venture Partners, Geodesic, Shell Ventures, and Reinvent Capital as “also participating” in the series B funding. Also noted in the blog post, Carl Eschenbach, partner at Sequoia Capital, will join Aurora’s board of directors, bringing experience in operations, partnerships and scaling companies to start-up’s growth plan. Eschenbach will join existing external directors, Mike Volpi, Reid Hoffman, and Ian Smith. Venture firms Greylock Partners and Index Ventures were co-investors in Aurora’s Series A round, which raised USD 90 million. Aurora Innovation was founded in 2016 by Chris Urmson, a former director of Google’s self-driving car project, Alphabet Inc.; Sterling Anderson, former director of Tesla Motors’ Autopilot feature, and Drew Bagnell, a founding member of Uber’s Advanced Technology Center. In early 2018, Aurora announced partnerships with several automakers, including Hyundai and Volkswagen, and in the last year, according to a January 2019 blog post by the company, it has “integrated the system into five different vehicle platforms from four different OEMs.” Bloomberg reported in August 2018 that Volkswagen was seeking to buy Aurora, but the start-up turned down the offer, citing its desire to remain independent and work with multiple automobile manufacturers. Aurora currently has offices in the San Francisco Bay Area and Pittsburgh, Penn.