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Amazon-backed Electric Vehicle Startup Rivian Aims for U.S. IPO This Year

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【Summary】​Electric truck startup Rivian intends to launch its U.S. IPO by the end of the year, taking advantage of investor interest in electric vehicles that pushed Tesla’s stock to record highs in 2020. Rivian could launch its IPO as early as September. The company is one of the most well funded electric vehicle startups. Last month, Rivian announced a $2.6 billion investment round led by T. Rowe Price. The company said it has raised $8 billion since the start of 2019.

FutureCar Staff    Feb 10, 2021 12:15 PM PT
Amazon-backed Electric Vehicle Startup Rivian Aims for U.S. IPO This Year
The fully-electric Rivian R1T pickup and R1S SUV.

Electric truck startup Rivian intends to launch its U.S. IPO by the end of the year, taking advantage of investor interest in electric vehicles that pushed Tesla's stock to record highs in 2020. Rivian could launch its IPO as early as September.

According to Bloomberg, Rivian is in talks with bankers about its plans, but the company's timeline for an initial public offering isn't final and a listing could happen later in the year or in 2022.

Rivian, founded in 2009, is one of the most well funded and most valuable electric vehicle startups. Last month Rivian announced a $2.6 billion investment round led by T. Rowe Price. The company said it has raised $8 billion since the start of 2019.

Michigan-based Rivian is also backed by e-commerce giant Amazon and Ford Motor Co. and has a post money valuation of roughly $30 billion, but the proceeds from its U.S. IPO could value the company at $50 billion or more.

The company declined to comment on the reports.

With billions in investments, Rivian is emerging as one of the most promising electric vehicle startups since Tesla launched its IPO in June 2010 and the Model S sedan two years later. However unlike Tesla, the company is focused on developing rugged, battery-powered trucks and SUVs.  

Rivian is building two consumer vehicles, the Rivian R1T pickup and R1S SUV. Both the R1T and R1S SUV will be built on the same skateboard platform. 

Rivian is marketing its battery-powered trucks as adventure vehicles. Both will be built to handle off-roading with 14 inches of ground clearance. Its the exact opposite of Tesla's luxury Model X SUV, which is primarily designed for everyday driving. 

Rivian is also planning to build its own EV charging network, including adding dozens of EV chargers near popular outdoor destinations such as hiking and mountain bike trails and kayaking spots.

In addition, by focusing on electric trucks and SUVs Rivian is squarely targeting the most profitable vehicle segments for U.S. automakers General Motors and Ford.

Rivian aims to put its electric pickup and SUV in production by June at its sprawling factory in Normal, Illinois that was once owned by Japan's Mitsubishi Motors.Rivina purchased the shuttered factory in 2016 and it's currently being converted to produce electric vehicles.

Amazon Rivian Van 5 lede.jpeg

Amazon's new fully-electric delivery vans are being built by Rivian. The e-commerce giant ordered 100,000 of them.

Rivian is also working with its investor Amazon, supplying the e-commerce giant with electric vans that were custom designed for Amazon's needs. In 2019, Amazon ordered 100,000 electric vans from Rivian that its plans to add to its delivery fleet by 2024.

Rivian also has plans to build smaller EVs for markets in China and Europe, founder and Chief Executive Officer R.J. Scaringe told Reuters in November.

In November 2020, Rivian, Tesla and over 20 other companies joined a new lobbying group called the "Zero Emission Transportation Association" (ZETA). The organization's focus is on advocating for national policies to promote the use of zero-emissions electric vehicles, including light, medium duty commercial trucks in the U.S. by 2030.

Missing from the group however are two of Rivian's biggest competitors, General Motors and Ford, both of which rely heavily on the profits of gas-powered trucks and SUVs, a category Rivian is looking to electrify.

The funds raised from an IPO could position Rivian as a formidable competitor to legacy automakers, which is exactly what Tesla has done.

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