Is Nuro in Trouble?

The Prime Unicorn Index benchmark, the standard bearer for private markets benchmarking, tracks post-money valuations for U.S-based, VC-backed private companies. Reflecting the broader private market, the Index is down 6.72% year to date. 

As we have covered over the past few weeks, many companies have recently been forced to raise down rounds, while many are doing everything possible to avoid lowering their valuation. One potential example of this is Nuro, a component of the Prime Unicorn Index.

Nuro, Inc. manufactures and distributes self-driving delivery vehicles for local goods transportation. The vehicle is a fully autonomous, efficient, electric, on-road vehicle designed to transport goods of all kinds. Nuro is valued at $8.7B in the Index following a $600M Series D raise on November 11, 2021, including investors such as Tiger Global, SoftBank, Alphabet, Fidelity, Kroger, and others. 

In an article in The Information, Cory Weinberg recently suggested that Nuro asked its board for additional capital but was rejected. He also discussed the company’s recent layoffs, pivoted business models, and a potential sale or cram-down round. It is worth noting that Nuro founder Jianjun Zhu stated later that the company never approached the board for additional capital. Still, it does not change that the company is clearly struggling.

Before its Series D round, Nuro had raised four times. The company raised $40M in a Series A round on September 28, 2017, at $1.00 a share, $50M in a Series B round on June 28, 2017, at $1.90 a share, $800M in a Series B round on February 6, 2019, at $8.25 a share, and $500M in a Series C round on November 9, 2020 at $13.04 a share, which valued the company at $5.2B.

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