Aurora Innovation, the self-driving startup with leadership from Google, Tesla and Uber, just raised over half a billion dollars from investors, including Amazon.
The startup announced it has raised $530 million from its latest round of financing today, led by venture capital firm Sequoia Capital along with Shell Ventures, T. Rowe Price Associates, Amazon, and others. Aurora specifically mentioned the benefit of having Amazon onboard in its announcement, via Medium:
Amazon’s unique expertise, capabilities, and perspectives will be valuable for us as we drive towards our mission. We are also looking forward to having T. Rowe Price with us on this journey as a long-term capital partner.
You may remember Aurora from the lawsuit where Tesla claimed the startup was poaching its talent and had stolen documents after Sterling Anderson former program manager of Tesla’s Autopilot team, left for Aurora. That case was settled with some unusual circumstances in April of 2017, with Tesla backing down and Aurora paying out $100,000.
Aurora’s experienced team also includes Drew Bagnell from Uber’s self-driving development team<CQ, and was founded by Chris Urmson, who left Google’s self-driving project before it became Waymo to start up Aurora in 2016.
The company’s mission is to develop self-driving vehicle software for Aurora’s automaker partners to then incorporate into their vehicles, the Verge reports Last year, Aurora announced partnerships with Volkswagen, Hyundai and Byton.
It will be interesting to see what Amazon’s involvement brings to the mix, but with its history of revolutionizing internet shopping and its domination of online server hosting, it seems like there’s a lot of strategy that could easily be incorporated into Aurora’s plans.