The electric vehicle industry has grown into a giant, led by the endeavors of Elon Musk and his company Tesla. This has allowed other players to enter the market as well, making EV a golden opportunity. On Friday, electric vehicle start-up Rivian Automotive Inc. closed yet another funding round of $2.5 billion led by Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, D1 Capital Partners, Ford Motor, and funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates Inc. The start-up has raised $10.5 billion to date and has over 7,000 employees.
The latest round follows the $2.5 billion it had raised in July and $2.65 billion in January, pushing its valuation to $27.6 billion.
Rivian plans to roll out its first line of electric pickup trucks soon, and is looking to establish a second factory in the US, which is referred to internally as “Project Tera,” to produce batteries for its vehicles. The start-up has a factory in Normal, Illinois.
In a statement, Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe said that it was vital that they kept looking forward and pushing through to Rivian’s next phase of growth as they neared the start of vehicle production. “This infusion of funds from trusted partners allows Rivian to scale new vehicle programs, expand our domestic facility footprint, and fuel international product rollout,” he said.
The production of Rivian’s R1T electric pickup truck and R1S SUV got delayed due to the pandemic and issues ranging from “facility construction to equipment installation, to vehicle component supply (especially semiconductors),” and it is currently slated to roll out in September. The production of the SUV will begin after that.
“We are excited to increase our investment in Rivian as it reaches an inflection point in its commercialization,” said Dan Sundheim, founder of D1 Capital Partners.
If the rolling out of no less than three lines of vehicles this year is not enough, the ambitious start-up is also mulling over an initial public offering. Many firms have gone public this year, including food delivery giant Zomato, whose IPO is perhaps the greatest thing to happen in the start-up ecosystem in recent times. Rivian is also making 1, 00, 000 electric vans for last-mile deliveries for e-commerce giant Amazon as part of its goal to have a fleet run entirely on renewable energy.