Electric truck startup Rivian lands $1.3 billion investment

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Electric truck startup Rivian has had a banner year in 2019 despite not shipping a single vehicle. In the last 12 months, the firm has secured billions of dollars in funding and obtained a massive production order from a Big Tech corporation. On Monday, the company announced its heading into 2020 with a new $1.3 billion private equity cash injection.

Rivian’s Remarkable Year

Although many large corporations and startups have attempted to break into the electric vehicle sector, a majority have floundered. Generally, funding problems, mismanagement, and immature technology have undone many companies aiming to replicate Tesla’s success. However, Rivian has defied the odds thanks to its strong leadership and compelling innovations.

On December 23, the firm revealed a group of investors, led by asset management company T. Rowe Price added $1.3 billion to its coffers. The company intends to use its latest cash infusion to get its flagship vehicles into production by the end of next year. Notably, the automotive concern amassed a significant war chest before securing its new 10-figure investment.

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In February, the startup raised $700 million in a round led by Amazon. In April, Ford Motor Company followed suit with a $500 million investment. And in September, Cox Automotive made a $350 million bet on the firm’s future success.

In total, the 10-year-old electric SUV and truck manufacturer brought in $2.85 billion in outside funding this year.

Furthermore, while Rivian will begin offering its vehicles for sale next year, it has already received a significant order. In September, e-commerce giant Amazon contracted the startup to produce 100,000 all-electric delivery vans over 10 years. Barring any considerable manufacturing hiccups, the Seattle tech concern will begin rolling out its new environmentally-friendly fleet in 2021.

What Makes Rivian Stand Out

Founded by Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate Robert Scaringe in 2009, Rivian began its life as an autonomous electric vehicle concern. However, though full self-driving capability is still on the firm’s roadmap, it’s spent the last five years focused on making rugged electric vehicles.

In doing so, the startup produced a pair of incredibly promising and innovative non-fossil fuel-powered automobiles.

Late last year, the firm debuted its flagship offerings; a quad-motor electric pickup called the R1T, and a luxury SUV named the R1S. Right away, Rivian’s products garnered attention because of their high performance and palatable pricing.

The Rivian R1T boasts a 400-mile range, can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in three seconds, and starts at $69,000. Besides, the R1S base model retails for $72,500, has 400 horsepower, and a 240-mile range. However, the deluxe version of the all-electric SUV has 700 horsepower and can run 410 miles between charges.

The startup’s robust and affordable vehicles won it two plaudits at the 2019 New York International Auto Show. The firm’s safety-conscious “skateboard”-style design paradigm wowed Ford so much, it bought a stake in the company in part to gain access to its platform.

Last month, Tesla proved there’s a hunger for electric utility vehicles when it unveiled its Cybertruck light pickup. The corporation received more than 250,000 orders for its unique automobile. With its new financial resources and engineering acumen, Rivian has the potential to become America’s second great electric automobile manufacturer.

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