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Amazon-Backed Electric Car Maker Rivian Files For IPO






Amazon-backed electric vehicle maker Rivian has filed for an initial public offering, weeks before it plans to deliver its first electric pickup trucks to customers.


The company, founded in 2009, which is seen as a significant challenger to Tesla and also counts Ford as a major backer, is seeking a valuation of more than $70 billion (£50bn), reports said.


Rivian declined to comment on the figure or to say when the listing might happen. Goldman Sachs is leading the offering.


Rivian has raised more than $10bn from Amazon, Ford, T Rowe Price and others, including a $2.5bn investment led by Amazon in July and a $2.65bn round in January that valued the company at $27.6bn.


Shipping delays


Manufacturing its vehicles in a former Mitsubishi plant in Normal, Illinois, Rivian says it currently expects to ship its first pickups in September, with an SUV to follow soon afterward.


The deliveries have been repeatedly delayed by the pandemic and other factors, founder R.J. Scaringe acknowledged in a letter to customers last month.


“Everything from facility construction, to equipment installation, to vehicle component supply (especially semiconductors) has been impacted by the pandemic,” he wrote.


The company is also developing 100,000 custom delivery vans for Amazon, with the first models being added to Amazon’s fleet this year and at least 10,000 due on the roads by the end of 2022.


When Amazon’s Jeff Bezos rode into space aboard his Blue Origin rocket last month, he and the crew travelled to the launchpad in a Rivian vehicle.


Expansion


In July Rivian said it’s looking to build a second US plant and is also reportedly considering a European facility.


Amongst its smaller facilities is an engineering office in Woking in the UK that handles “advanced concepts, body and lighting”.


A $70bn valuation would be higher than that of Ford, making Rivian one of the highest-valued auto companies in the world.


However, it would pale in comparison to Tesla, by far the biggest electric car maker, which is valued at about $700bn.


Competitor Lucid Motors, which recently went public through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC), is valued at about $34bn, half the market value of General Motors, in spite of having never delivered a vehicle.

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