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Aurora Raises $820 Million in Capital to Boost Autonomous Trucking Business

Aurora Innovation, a leading self-driving technology company, has successfully completed a capital raise of $820 million through a public and concurrent private offering of its stock. This strategic move is aimed at supporting Aurora’s plans to launch an autonomous trucking business by 2024 and sustain its operations until at least 2025.

The recent stock sale represents a critical milestone for Aurora, as it provides the necessary financial backing for its commercial launch scheduled for next year. Prior to this raise, the company had stated that additional funding would be required to ensure a successful launch and continued growth beyond mid-2024.

In a leaked memo in September 2022, Aurora’s CEO, Chris Urmson, had explored various options to bolster the company’s cash position, including layoffs, acquisitions, and capital raises. The company aimed to raise $300 million within a year to extend its financial runway.

The latest capital raise is expected to support Aurora’s mission of commercializing self-driving trucks. The company has already forged pilot partnerships with major players like FedEx, Paccar, Schneider, Werner, and Xpress. The commercial launch will involve a fleet of approximately 20 autonomous trucks operating between Dallas and Houston, serving customers without a driver.

Aurora has remained transparent about its need for additional funding before achieving profitability and commercial success. The recent raise will allow the company to focus on its autonomous trucking venture and further expand its business.

Although Aurora has not disclosed specific details about the use of the raised funds, the company’s prospectus indicates that the money will be allocated to working capital and general corporate purposes. Some of the funds may also be invested in short- and intermediate-term investment grade instruments. Additionally, Aurora may consider acquiring or investing in other businesses, technologies, products, or assets.

The stock offering is divided into two parts, with Aurora selling 73,333,333 shares of Class A common stock at a public offering price of $3 per share, amounting to $220 million. Moreover, the company is conducting a private sale of 222,222,216 shares at $2.70 per share, raising approximately $600 million.

Despite experiencing a slight drop in stock price after the public offering, Aurora remains confident about its future prospects. The company has not yet announced when it will report second-quarter earnings, which may provide additional insights into its plans for the raised capital.

While the names of the investors participating in the raise are yet to be disclosed, Aurora confirmed that several existing institutional and strategic investors have actively contributed to the funding.

The successful capital raise positions Aurora Innovation for substantial growth and advancement in the autonomous vehicle industry, particularly in the promising sector of self-driving trucking.

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