Self-driving car startup Aurora has raised $90 million in a Series A round, with participation from both Greylock Partners and Index Ventures. The new funding adds to its available cash and will make it possible for the young startup to scale more quickly, but Aurora CEO Chris Urmson told me that the most important part of this deal from his perspective is that Aurora gets two, high-profile new board members out of the deal.
Joining Aurora’s board are Greylock’s Reid Hoffman, former founder of LinkedIn, and Index’s Mike Volpi, who previously ran Cisco’s routing business. Urmson called Hoffman “one of the great people of Silicon Valley, and cited both his general kindness and his reputation for making sure that Silicon Valley tech companies keep all people and their wellbeing in mind when building their businesses. Urmson also cited his strategic and thoughtful approach to building companies for the long-term as a key ingredient.
As for Volpi, Urmson cited his role in building Cisco’s IP routing business, ample operational experience, and his ability to run a company that deals in both hardware and software, again with a focus on the long-term, as reasons why he’s excited to have him on the board.
Beyond the funding, Urmson said that all the startup’s partnerships (with VW, Hyundai and Byton) are all making progress with work getting done, though he didn’t provide any specific details or updates. Between those partnerships and these new board members and investors, it seems like there’s plenty of confidence in the ability of Urmson and his team to make more headway in autonomous driving.