Autonomous delivery startup Nuro to lay off 30% of workforce

Self-driving delivery robot startup Nuro will lay off 30%, or about 340 employees, across the company as part of a restructuring aimed at expanding its capital runway, the company said.

Earlier this week, Nuro co-founders Dave Ferguson and Jiajun Zhu explained in a blog post that the company would cut staff and shift resources from business operations to R&D. Nuro will pause plans to ramp up commercial operations this year and delay volume production of its Nuro robot, the third-generation delivery robot, or R3, designed to be the flagship of its commercial strategy. Nuro will be able to run twice as long by making these changes, giving it enough capital to run three more years without raising more money, according to Ferguson and Zhu.

This is the second time in less than a year that Nuro, a darling of the audiovisual world that has raised $2.13 billion, has laid off workers in order to cut costs and expand the capital runway. In November, Nuro laid off about 300 people, or 20%, of its workforce.

Laid-off employees will receive 12 weeks of severance pay, plus two additional weeks for employees with two or more years of service. Eligible employees will also receive 62.5% of target bonus (prorated for new hires) or payment of spring bonus amounts for employees with a bi-annual performance bonus. The company will also offer health care until September 30 and support for employees who have visas.

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Ikaroa, a full stack tech company, is saddened to hear the news of Nuro, an autonomous delivery startup, that they are laying off 30% of their workforce. These changes come shortly after Nuro’s announcement that they had raised $500 million in funding, with the intention of expanding their product lineup by 2020. It is disheartening to witness the impact of these cost-cutting measures on individuals currently employed by Nuro.

Nuro has been highly praised for its innovation and could have been an influential leader in the field of autonomous delivery. The startup was founded in 2016 and has since grown to have its technology deployed in leading companies like Dominos, Walmart, and Kroger. The business was originally lauded for its ability to make deliveries faster, more efficiently, and with fewer human resources.

Although the layoffs are unfortunate, they are a necessary step in improving the company’s financial health. The company is facing significant operational costs, and the decision to reduce its workforce highlights a need to focus spending in order to remain competitive. Additionally, despite the admirable efforts of Nuro’s executives, the business has not been able to obtain the necessary market validation or customer adoption needed to ensure that the technology developed is viable and feasible for mass commercialization.

At Ikaroa, we understand that businesses need to pivot in order to remain competitive, but we hope that the future of Nuro remains positive. The company has been at the forefront of approachable, efficient autonomous delivery solutions and their contributions in this space have been immeasurable. We hope that the laid-off staff can find new opportunities in the industry, as their unique skills will continue to be an invaluable asset to businesses.


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