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SoftBank invests $940mn in autonomous delivery startup Nuro

SoftBank Group’s technology fund is investing almost $1bn in driverless delivery start-up Nuro.

SoftBank Group’s technology fund is investing almost $1bn in driverless delivery start-up Nuro.

The deal adds to SoftBank’s expanding portfolio in the transportation technology market.

It invested $2.3bn in General Motors self-driving car unit, Cruise, last May, and it also owns shares in ride-hailing firms such as Uber and Grab.

Nuro, which will receive US$940mn from SoftBank’s Vision Fund, was founded in 2016 by two veterans of Google’s self-driving car team, Dave Ferguson and Jiajun Zhu.

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The Silicon Valley firm produces self-driving delivery vans which are capable of picking up groceries and delivering them over short distances.

The company has already partnered with American grocery retailer Kroger to tackle the challenge of ‘last mile delivery.’

“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 at SoftBank Investment Advisers.

“In just two years Dave, Jiajun and team have developed Nuro from a concept into a real business using robotics to connect retailers to customers.”

Nuro said it will use the funding to expand its delivery service to new geographies, add new partners, scale it’s fleet, grow and mature its technology and its team.

“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,” added Nuro co-founder, Dave Ferguson.

“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.”

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