Amazon-backed electric vehicle maker Rivian files for IPO

Electric vehicles updates

Rivian, the electric vehicle company backed by Amazon, has filed confidentially for an initial public offering, the company announced on Friday.

Founded in 2009, the Irvine, California-based company, seen as a significant challenger to Tesla, is seeking a valuation of more than $70bn, according a person familiar with its plans.

A spokeswoman for Rivian declined to comment on the target, nor share a proposed timeline for when the listing might happen. Goldman Sachs is leading the offering.

According to data from PitchBook, Rivian has raised more than $10bn since the beginning of 2019. In July, Amazon, through its Climate Pledge Fund, led a $2.5bn investment with D1 Capital Partners, T Rowe Price and the Ford Motor Company. It followed a $2.65bn round in January that had valued the company at $27.6bn.

Amazon’s investments came after it announced in 2019 that it had ordered 100,000 custom electric delivery vans from Rivian, with the first being added to the ecommerce giant’s delivery fleet in 2021. At least 10,000 are due on the roads by the end of next year.

Rivian is also producing a sport utility vehicle and a pick-up truck, both to be manufactured at the company’s plant in Normal, Illinois.

Rivian has promised its pick-up will, at launch, be priced at $67,500 and have a range of more than 300 miles. It will compete with similar efforts from General Motors, Volkswagen and Ford.

However, the “cascading impacts of the pandemic” have seen deliveries of the vehicles, which had been due to begin in July, pushed back to later this year, said chief executive R J Scaringe in a letter to customers last month. A 400-mile-plus model is scheduled for January 2022, the company has said.

“Everything from facility construction, to equipment installation, to vehicle component supply (especially semiconductors) has been impacted by the pandemic,” Scaringe wrote.

The company confirmed in July that it is seeking to build a second US manufacturing facility, and is reportedly also considering a European plant.

The company has smaller facilities in a number of other locations, including an engineering office in Woking in the UK that focuses on “advanced concepts, body and lighting”.

Ford’s share price rose 3 per cent on Friday following the announcement. Amazon’s shares were also up marginally.

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