Electric vehicle maker Rivian valued at USD27.6B in funding round

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – Electric vehicle maker Rivian on Tuesday said it raised USD2.65 billion in a new funding round valuing the Amazon-backed United States (US) company at USD26.7 billion.

Investors included Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund and Fidelity Management and Research, according to Rivian.

“This is a critical year for us as we are launching the R1T, the R1S and the Amazon commercial delivery vehicles,” Rivian founder and Chief Executive RJ Scaringe said in a release.

“The support and confidence of our investors enables us to remain focussed on these launches while simultaneously scaling our business for our next stage of growth.”

Amazon is set to launch its own electric delivery vans ordered from the start-up.

Rivian has snagged billions from major investors like Amazon and Ford. PHOTO: RIVIAN

The new round brings to USD8 billion the total amount of funding raised by Rivian in the past two years. “We have been eagerly anticipating the arrival of 2021, and with it, the exhilaration of Rivian starting to deliver its revolutionary products to customers,” said T Rowe Price Portfolio Manager Joe Fath.

The Rivian financing round was led by funds and accounts advised by T Rowe Price Associates.

Rivian has been targetting Europe for its electric vehicles, according to Wedbush analyst Dan Ives.

“They have the brand, the backers, and the prototypes to aggressively go after this market,” Ives said.

Electric vehicle sales increased by 20 per cent last year and are expected to surge by 71 per cent this year, as the number of charging stations also grows significantly, according to AI-powered predictive platform BlastPoint.