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The Palo Alto-based company has been a standout in the autonomous vehicle space largely due to the caliber of its founding team, which includes pioneers in the field from Uber, Google, and Tesla. This round brings its total raised to date to $620 million. It raised a $90 million Series A in February 2018 from Greylock Partners and Index Ventures.
Although it was founded in 2016, Aurora didn’t emerge out of stealth mode until January 2018. The company is working on technology to develop Level 4 and Level 5 (fully autonomous in all circumstances) vehicles and has struck partnerships with large automakers such as Volkswagen and Hyundai.
As mentioned above, all three of Aurora’s founders—Sterling Anderson, Drew Bagnell, and Chris Urmson—are self-driving veterans. Crunchbase News’s Savannah Dowling reported last August, “Interestingly, in a tech world where brains and ego often go hand-in-hand, Aurora emphasizes character and lack of ego in its hiring process.” According to this CNN piece, “its values include ‘no jerks’ and ‘operate with integrity.’ “
To read about other venture-backed startups in the space, check out Savannah’s article here.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias