Rivian collects $2.5Bn, says production is on track
The relative newcomer in the electric vehicle space, Rivian, has raised another 2.5 billion dollars in its latest round of funding. Existing investors BlackRock and Amazon chipped in again with others joining in this time, among them the fund of George Soros.
Other investors in Rivian’s round of investment included Fidelity Management and Research Company as well as the Baron Capital Group. However, no new seats at the board have been created. Instead, the company wants to use the fresh capital to finally launch its first electric vehicles, a praised pick-up truck and SUV as well as a massive order of delivery vehicles. In short, “we want to focus on the execution of our products,” explains Rivian Founder and CEO RJ Scaringe.
Said execution had been delayed due to the corona setback and will now take place in 2021 and not 2020. Says Scaringe: “With all three launches occurring in 2021, our teams are working hard to ensure our vehicles, supply chain and production systems are ready for a robust production ramp-up.”
While the delay had been announced previously, Rivian also made clear where their priorities lay – with Amazon. The internet giant and investor expects the start-up to deliver 10,000 specially designed e-vehicles by 2022 with first batches to arrive in 2021. The total order is for no less than 100,000 electric delivery vehicles by 2030. When restarting production at the Rivian plant in Normal, Illinois, this June, Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe said the vehicle engineering and design teams were developing digital methods to make sure that the timing of the program stays on track.
While the recent funding is the first Rivian collected in 2020, the company has received regular interest throughout last year. Amazon took a stake in 700-million-dollar funding round as early as in February 2019. Ford followed with 500 million dollars in April last year and in September, Cox Automotive announced its $350 million investment in Rivian, complemented by plans to collaborate on logistics and service. Lastly in December, Rivian closed an investment round of $1.3 billion. The financing was led by funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. with additional participation from recurring investors Amazon, Ford and funds managed by BlackRock.
It is not only the huge order with Amazon that had caught the interest of investors. Rivian entered the stage in 2019, when it presented its all-electric R1T pickup with impressive performance data at the LA Auto Show. Just one day later, Rivian showed the R1S, a corresponding electric SUV. Both models are expected to go into production in now 2021 at prices starting at 69,000 dollars (pick-up) and 72,500 dollars (SUV). The electric vehicles utilise what Rivian calls a skateboard platform that other manufacturers may use as well. Ford had considered this for its Lincoln brand but later stepped back from the deal.