Autonomous Vehicles and So, So Much Money

A whole bunch of autonomous vehicle companies have raised huge amounts of money in the last few days.

Aurora raised $530 million in a Series B (!!) round.

Nuro raised a $92 million Series A round.

I used to think self-driving trucks were an under-explored space, and maybe some other people thought that, too, and decided to start self-driving truck companies.

Ike was so far under the radar that it’s website doesn’t even come up when I search “Ike self-driving trucks”. They raised $52 million last week.

TuSimple, which has been around for a bit, just raised $92 million for its self-driving trucks.

Autonomous shuttle company May Mobility raised $22 million, a sum that seems relatively calm by comparison.

One thing I have not seen a good take on is whether this money is being raised to fund capital or labor. Basically, is all of this cash going to super highly-compensated robotics engineers, or is it going to purchase massive fleets of vehicles. I assume the former, because the latter might be better funded with collateralized debt. But it would be interesting to get a read on the business plans.

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