EV startup Rivian gets $700M in funding, led by Amazon

Marco Green
February 18, 2019

Electric carmaker Rivian has landed a $700 million investment in an Amazon-led funding round, it said Friday. In a statement, Jeff Wilke, Amazon CEO of Worldwide Consumer, said, "We're inspired by Rivian's vision for the future of electric transportation".

The support of the world's leading online retailer signals potential for a partnership on delivery vehicles down the road.

Scaringe, 36, said Rivian wasn't in dire need of funds because backers led by Japan's Sumitomo Corp. and Saudi auto distributor Abdul Latif Jameel Ltd. are fully committed to seeing the company succeed. On Friday, it announced it was the main investor in an upcoming all-electric truck and SUV company, Rivian.

Rivian aspires to be the first to produce a mass market electric pickup. It raised about $200 million in debt financing last May.

While Rivian's R1T got top marks at last year's Los Angeles Auto Show and now has a major stamp of approval from Amazon, it will have to contend with future competition from Tesla, the electric market's reigning king.

"This investment is an important milestone for Rivian and the shift to sustainable mobility", he said in a statement.

Rivian has a team of more than 750 people and development centers in the U.S. and England, according to the startup. "We are working to drive innovation across the entire customer experience". Additional details about this investment are not being disclosed at this time.

Production of both the R1T and R1S will take place at the former Mitsubishi-Chrysler plant in Normal, Illinois, which Rivian secured years ago.

Last week, meanwhile, Amazon invested $530 million in self-driving auto startup Aurora Innovation. The company's launch products, the R1T and R1S, deliver up to 400+ miles of range, with up to 180 kWh of storage in the battery pack.

The Rivian deal comes as its much larger electric vehicle manufacturing rival, Tesla, struggles to stabilize production and deliver consistent profits as it ramps up its mass market Model 3 sedan.

He has also said the company plans to partner with outside firms to develop advanced self-driving technology, rather than try to do so on its own.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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