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James Duncan Davidson / TED

Aurora Innovation, the stealth startup founded by the former CTO of Alphabet's self-driving car project, has raised over $3 million in venture capital funding, according to an SEC filing.

The team: Along with CEO Chris Urmson, who left Alphabet last year, the startup also boasts Sterling Anderson, who previously oversaw Tesla's Autopilot software. The company has also hired several of Uber's self-driving car engineers in Pittsburgh (many of which Uber lured away from Carnegie Mellon a couple of years ago), as well as engineers who have worked at Tesla, Nvidia, and Google. Many of them self-identify on LinkedIn as working for "Stealthy McStartup."

Tesla tangle: About a month before Alphabet's self-driving car unit sued Uber, alleging trade secret theft and breach of non-poaching agreement, Tesla Motors filed an eerily similar lawsuit against Aurora and Anderson. In the complaint, Tesla says that Anderson downloaded and kept proprietary company files to his personal computer, attempted to poach Tesla employees (only two accepted), and even worked on Aurora with Urmson while still employed by Tesla.

The company: Aurora will develop a "full package" of software, hardware, and data to sell to automakers who want to build their own autonomous cars, according to Recode, which first reported on Urmson's new project.

The financing: The company raised just over $3.1 million last month. Allen & Company managing director Ian Smith is listed as member of Aurora's board, likely a sign that his firm invested. No other backers were disclosed, although it's likely that Aurora plans to soon raise a larger institutional round.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Science

Volcanic eruption in Tonga caused "significant" damage

This satellite image of the eruption on Jan. 15 taken by Himawari-8, a Japanese weather satellite operated by Japan Meteorological Agency and released by National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT). Photo: NICT via AP

Significant damage has been reported in Tonga following an undersea volcanic eruption on Saturday, which covered the Pacific nation in ash and cut off communication lines.

Driving the news: The eruption triggered tsunami warnings across Tonga's islands and in other regions, including the West Coast of the U.S. and New Zealand.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump dogs "dull" DeSantis ahead of potential 2024 matchup

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Donald Trump is trashing Ron DeSantis in private as an ingrate with a "dull personality" and no realistic chance of beating him in a potential 2024 showdown, according to sources who've recently talked to the former president about the Florida governor.

Why it matters: The two are among the most popular Republicans in the country, and as the former president eyes another run in 2024, he's irked by DeSantis' popularity and refusal to rule out running against him.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Concerns grow over CDC's isolation guidelines — Experts warn of more COVID-19 variants after Omicron — WHO recommends 2 new treatments — What "mild" really means when it comes to Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: America's vaccination drive runs out of gas— Puerto Rico expands booster shot requirements— Supreme Court blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for large employers.
  3. Politics: Vivek Murthy calls SCOTUS vaccine mandate block "a setback for public health" — Focus group says Biden weak on COVID response, strong on democracy.
  4. Economy: America's labor shortage is bigger than the pandemic— — CDC COVID guidance for cruise ships to be optional starting Saturday — The cost of testing.
  5. States: America struggles to keep schools open — Youngkin ends mandates for masks in schools and COVID vaccinations for state workers.
  6. World: Beijing reports first local Omicron case weeks before Winter Olympics — Teachers in France stage mass walkout over COVID protocols.
  7. Variant tracker