Rivian, an electric truck and SUV startup backed by Amazon, is adding to an already exceptionally large level of funding raised ahead of the start of production this year with a further infusion of $2.5 billion.
The company, with operations in California, Michigan and Illinois, said the latest round brings total funding for the private manufacturer to at least $10.5 billion—an amount far exceeding any past electric vehicle startup prior to going public. The round was led by Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, D1 Capital Partners, Ford and T. Rowe Price.
“As we near the start of vehicle production, it’s vital that we keep looking forward and pushing through to Rivian’s next phase of growth,” CEO RJ Scaringe said.“This infusion of funds from trusted partners allows Rivian to scale new vehicle programs, expand our domestic facility footprint, and fuel international product rollout.”
The news comes a day after a report that Rivian intends to add a second U.S. assembly plant, in addition to its factory in Normal, Illinois. The company seemed to confirm the story, and said it’s reviewing locations for the facility, dubbed “Project Tera.” Despite its heavy fundraising, Rivian is also reportedly considering a public listing as early as this year.
This month the company informed its initial customers that deliveries of R1T pickups and R1S SUVs are delayed, owing to chip shortages that have impacted the global auto industry. The first pickups are now to be delivered in September with SUVs following soon after.
Rivian will compete head-to-head with Tesla in the nascent electric pickup space, with its innovative but more traditionally-styled R1T going up against Elon Musk’s hard-edged Cybertruck. And where Rivian’s branding ties its models to healthy outdoor activities at pristine mountains, beaches and winter scenes, Cybertruck is more of a futuristic military vehicle crafted for gamers into Terminator-like, post-apocalyptic settings.
Along with consumer pickups and SUVs, Rivian’s revenue stream should benefit in the early years from Amazon’s order for 100,000 electric delivery vans.
Investors in the new round also include Third Point, Fidelity Management and Research Company, Dragoneer Investment Group, and Coatue.