US-based all-electric “adventure vehicle” manufacturer Rivian is set to accelerate its expansion after closing a successful investment round that raised US$2.5 billion (A$3.6 billion) in capital for the company.
Rivian has developed all-terrain all-electric vehicles, including its R1S SUV model and the R1T electric Ute, which each deliver more than 400 miles (640 km) of range on a single charge, and an all-electric delivery model for global retail giant Amazon.
“We are focused on the launch of our R1T, R1S and Amazon delivery vehicles,” Rivian Founder and CEO RJ Scaringe said after the fund raising.
“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. We are grateful for the strong investor support that helps enable us to focus on execution of our products.”
Participants in the investment round included existing shareholder Amazon, along with Soros Fund Management, Coatue, Fidelity Management and Research Company, and Baron Capital Group.
Funds managed by investment giant BlackRock also joined in the investment round, expanding its shareholdings in Rivian.
Rivian has attracted significant interest from major investors over the last 18 months, including more than US$2.85 billion (A$4.1 billion) in earlier investments from retail giant Amazon, car manufacturer Ford and automotive company Cox Automotive across a number of investment rounds.
The company has produced a number of prototype electric utes, which have raised hopes for an electric ute suitable for Australian conditions.
Rivian was advised by T. Rowe Price Associates on the investment round.
“We are excited to continue this journey with Rivian’s innovative and talented team as they now prepare to deliver their groundbreaking products that help shift to a carbon-neutral planet,” portfolio manager at T. Rowe Price Joe Fath said.
Rivian has developed an innovative EV-chassis, that the company describes as its “skateboard platform” that its electric vehicles are built around. The platform has allowed the company to design two off-road “adventure” models that provide off-road capabilities.
The company expects to begin deliveries of its first customer purchased vehicles in 2021. The company was forced to delay the expansion of its manufacturing activities due to Covid-19 related disruptions, but this does not appear to have reduced the interest in the company’s proposed vehicles from both investors and prospective customers.
The investment follows last week’s announcement from California based all-electric SUV developer Fisker, which successfully completed a US$50 million investment round, to fund the development of its Fisker Ocean SUV, which features a range-boosting solar integrated roof.