Aurora says it has enough cash to commercialize autonomous trucks by 2024 • TechCrunch
Autonomous vehicle technology company Aurora Innovation has released Third Quarter Earnings Report After the bell wednesday. The company closed the quarter with about $1.2 billion in cash and short-term investments, which Aurora says will be enough to launch it commercially in mid-2024.
These statements were made just days after the previous competitor Argo AI closed operations And the Mobileye has become public With the third most successful initial public offering of the year. Both movements indicate that automakers who were once willing to invest billions in developing AV technology without near-term gains are now directing their attention and resources to near-term profit centers such as advanced driver assistance systems in passenger-owned vehicles. So the question becomes, can Aurora hold out?
CFO Richard Tammy said during the investor call that Aurora will need to raise more money, but the company won’t tell TechCrunch if that will happen before or after the 2024 launch. (However, in a The note was leaked In September, CEO Chris Urmson wrote to Aurora’s board of directors that there was value in finding “a path to raise $300 million next year to add about six months to our runway.”) Given the current economic situation and Aurora’s cash-burn history, the company may be able to reach 2024 with the money you currently have, but only – and only if you keep costs down.
During the third quarter, Aurora’s total loss from operations was $200 million, up from $128 million reported during the same quarter last year, but less than losses of approximately $1.2 billion in the second quarter of 2022. If the startup were Able to sustain a net loss of $200 million from Q4 through Q1 2024, you won’t need to raise more money before the commercial launch. But as a pre-revenue startup working on groundbreaking technology, Aurora will incur massive R&D costs to scale and bring its product to market. In addition, Aurora will somehow need to avoid being affected by inflation and supply chain constraints. The result? Aurora will need to find talent across the board.
The leaked memo also outlined a range of cost-cutting and cash-generating options for the Aurora Council, including a hiring freeze, potential layoffs, asset rotation, privatization, and even selling itself to high-profile tech companies. Aurora didn’t mention any of these potential facts during her earnings call, but that doesn’t mean it’s off the table.
The street responded positively to Aurora’s attempts to placate investors. The company’s stock rose 5.85% after the market closed.
Aurora has prioritized independent freight commercialization through a series of pilot partnerships with FedExBakkar, Schneider, Werner and Xpress. But the company is also working with Toyota to eventually launch a subscription service in the taxi market. Earlier this year, the company unveiled Toyota Sienna fleet test that are specifically designed for bot operations. In the third quarter, Aurora generated approximately $3 million in collaboration revenue from Toyota.