Chipotle now testing Carside Pickup service

Chipotle now testing Carside Pickup service

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.’s (NYSE: CMG) focus on the digital channel for customers just took another step forward with the Newport Beach restaurant operator’s investment in autonomous delivery company Nuro.

The company said Thursday it joined a Series C round for Mountain View-based Nuro, which uses robotic technology in its delivery vehicles.

Other investors added to the round included Woven Capital, part of Toyota. Nuro’s vehicles have been used for delivery of groceries, pizza, prescriptions and other goods.

Nuro’s valuation last year was reportedly $5 billion.

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The investment comes as Chipotle’s digital business surges, up 174% last year. Delivery drove about half of those digital sales.

Chipotle said Nuro marks the first major investment in a technology company under Chairman and CEO Brian Niccol.

The restaurant company’s shares were trading down 6.7% to $1,416.29 on Thursday for a market cap of $39.9 billion.