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Google Invests in Robot Delivery Company Nuro

Google was a surprise investor in autonomous driving platform Nuro during a recent $600 million Series D fundraising round that will help the company accelerate commercialization of its robotic delivery services, according to a Forbes report on Tuesday (Nov. 2).

SoftBank and Toyota’s Woven Capital were among the existing investors participating in the funding round, which was led by Tiger Global Management and also included investments by Baillie Gifford, Fidelity, Gaorong Capital, SoftBank’s Vision Fund, T. Rowe Price and supermarket chain Kroger, the report says.

“We’re thrilled to have the backing of these prominent investors and world-class companies and honored that they support our vision of improving communities and revitalizing local commerce,” Nuro Co-founder and President Dave Ferguson said in the Forbes report.

“We believe this investment will allow us to accelerate our commercialization strategy and better everyday life with Nuro’s technology,” he said.

Nuro, which is focused on delivering goods using robotic autonomous vehicles, has worked with FedEx, Walmart, CVS, Kroger and Domino’s Pizza, among other companies, in Texas, Arizona and California. Chipotle is also an investor in the company.

In addition to Google’s investment in Nuro, the companies also signed a five-year strategic partnership with Google Cloud on large-scale self-driving simulations, machine learning services and data storage from its fleet of vehicles.

The companies will also “explore opportunities together to strengthen and transform local commerce,” according to Nuro’s announcement.

Nuro announced in August it will invest $40 million in a manufacturing plant and test site near Las Vegas as it boosts production of thousands of battery-powered robotic delivery vehicles. The company is working with Chinese electric vehicle maker BYD on a new fleet that’s powered by the company’s latest battery pack and motor system.

Related: FedEx/Nuro Tie-Up Shows The Last Mile Belongs To Robots And Autonomous Vehicles

Earlier this year, FedEx inked a multi-year agreement with Nuro to test the latter’s autonomous delivery vehicles as part of the shipping and logistic giant’s operations with a pilot program in the Houston area focused on multi-stop and appointment-based deliveries. Nuro partnered with Domino’s in April.

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