Autonomous vehicle tech firm Aurora gears up for big Silicon Valley expansion

Aurora strikes deal for big lease in Mountain View that allows for growth

Aurora, deemed to be one of the young hotshots in the autonomous vehicle business, has struck a deal to dramatically expand its footprint in Silicon Valley, a leasing agreement that would shift the tech company’s headquarters to Mountain View.

Now in Palo Alto, Aurora has leased a big research and office building at 280 N. Bernardo Ave. in Mountain View, according to Silicon Valley property experts who are familiar with the rental agreement.

Aurora leased 111,000 square feet in the building, which is near the corner of Bernardo and Central Expressway. Cushman & Wakefield commercial real estate brokers Greg Pickett, Kalil Jenab, and Nick Lazzarini arranged the rental transaction.

The company has raised roughly $690 million in three funding rounds, with the most recent investment stage occurring in June, according to Aurora and the Crunchbase site.

“Aurora works at the intersection of rigorous engineering and applied machine learning to address one of the most challenging, important, and interesting opportunities of our generation: transforming the way people and goods move,” according to information posted on one of the company’s web pages.

The company was co-founded in 2016 by three leaders in the self-driving industry: Chris Urmson, a former executive with Google’s Waymo self-driving enterprise; J. Andrew Bagnell, a founder of Uber’s advanced technology center; and Sterling Anderson, a leader of the team that delivered Tesla’s autopilot technology.

“This deal shows that Mountain View is still a sought-after location in the Bay Area,” said Dave Vanoncini, a senior vice president and managing partner with Kidder Mathews, a commercial real estate firm. “There are a lot of key engineers and upper management folks in tech companies who feel Mountain View remains a strategic location and it’s worth paying more money for that.”

Aurora is currently leasing about 30,000 square feet in Palo Alto, so the Mountain View lease positions the company for a major expansion. Aurora didn’t respond to requests from this news organization to discuss the lease, which has been signed, the sources said.