Rivian is an electric vehicle startup created by RJ Scaringe and based in Plymouth, Michigan – halfway between Detroit and Ann Arbor. It also owns the former Mitsubishi factory in Normal, Illinois. Shortly after its founding, it attracted significant investments from Amazon and Ford, raising a total of $ 2 billion in total from various sources.
Now he has raised an additional $ 2.5 billion in a funding cycle led by T. Rowe Price. According to TechCrunch, participants in the latest capital increase included Soros Fund Management, Coatue, Fidelitity and Baron Capital Group. Existing Amazon shareholders and funds managed by BlackRock also joined the tour. No board seats have been added as a result of the new investments.
The money will be used to prepare the Illinois plant for production of the company’s R1T electric pickup and its R1S SUV later this year, with deliveries to customers scheduled to begin in 2021. The The plant will also manufacture 100,000 electric vans. for Amazon. The first of these vehicles is also expected to start early next year.
In a statement after the close of the last funding round, Scaringe said, “We are focusing on the launch of our R1T, R1S and Amazon delivery vehicles. With the three launches in 2021, our teams are working hard to ensure that our vehicles, our supply chain and our production systems are ready for a robust ramp-up of production. We are grateful for the strong investor support that allows us to focus on the execution of our products. ”
A side note to all of these happy speeches is a recent Autoline report claiming the company is moving most of its Michigan operations to its technology center in Irvine, California – a move that apparently angered a number of Rivian employees in Michigan. The Golden State may be inhospitable for Elon Musk, but it still offers the highest concentration of software engineers anywhere in the world.
Asked about the move by Autoblog, a company spokesperson said, “Of the 2,300 Rivian employees, approximately 1,000 are based in California and 750 in Michigan, and we are consolidating certain engineering teams at our sites in California to improve flows and reduce the environmental impact of travel. We have recently completed an expansion to our Michigan location and this will remain an important presence for us. We are also committed to creating a dynamic and inviting manufacturing presence in Normal, Illinois, where all Rivian vehicles will be produced. As we grow, we will continue to assess and evolve our footprint and geography. ”
One thing that is not entirely clear is what Ford is getting for its $ 500 million investment in Rivian. There were rumors that Lincoln would build an electric SUV on the Rivian skateboard chassis, but this project was canceled. It has also been speculated that Rivian would play a major role in helping Ford develop its first electric pickup, but these plans also appear to be on hold. However, ties between Ford and Rivian remain strong, says Autoblog. Alexandra Ford English, director of corporate strategy for Ford, joined Rivian’s board of directors earlier this year.
Money also flows to other electric vehicle companies
According to The edge, Fisker recently raised $ 50 million to help bring its Ocean electric SUV into production. The money comes from Moore Strategic Ventures, led by Louis Bacon. This is more than triple the amount that Fisker Inc. previously raised with the venture capital arm of Caterpillar and the family behind the oil drilling company Schlumberger. A source tells The edge Fisker is considering its own IPO, no doubt spurred on by the recent astounding success of NIO and Tesla on Wall Street, both of which have more than doubled in value so far this year despite the ravages of the coronavirus in the car market new.
Henrik Fisker has already toured the block and the road of electric cars, after presenting his unfortunate plug-in hybrid car, the Karma, in 2012. This car suffered from disastrous build quality and serious battery problems. The company went bankrupt and its assets were bought into bankruptcy by Wanxiang, who renamed the company Karma and introduced a much more modern version of the original car which she now calls the Revero.
The edge Karma has also obtained $ 100 million in new funding from anonymous investors and is looking to raise an additional $ 300 million. Bloomberg reports the company would like to sell shares to US private equity firms, which would make its car more attractive to government fleets.
NIO overcame economic problems earlier this year with support from Chinese government-owned companies, and Lucid overcame economic storms by selling a majority stake in the Saudi sovereign wealth fund for $ 1 billion.
Everyone seems to think that electric cars will unlock mega profits in the coming years and this has prompted many investors to open their portfolios to invest in electric car companies recently. Of course, not everyone will succeed and there will be tears when some of these investors see their money evaporate. Those who have invested in Faraday Future and Byton already regret their decision. Nobody has a crystal ball. Invest cautiously or not at all, and as my old Irish grandmother used to say, “Never bet more than you can afford to lose.” ”
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