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Electric vehicle startup Rivian raises $700 million in Amazon-led investment round

 ( PHOTO: RIVIAN )
( PHOTO: RIVIAN )

Electric vehicle startup Rivian announced a $700 million funding round led by Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) today, February 15. The investment comes after the Michigan-based company unveiled its all-electric R1T pickup and R1S SUV last fall.

“This investment is an important milestone for Rivian and the shift to sustainable mobility,” stated Rivian Founder and CEO RJ Scaringe. “Beyond simply eliminating compromises that exist around performance, capability and efficiency, we are working to drive innovation across the entire customer experience. Delivering on this vision requires the right partners, and we are excited to have Amazon with us on our journey to create products, technology and experiences that reset expectations of what is possible.”

The R1T and R1S boast a range of 400 miles and are designed to combine performance, off-road capability and utility. Both vehicles are expected to retail for upward of $68,000. They are produced in Rivian’s Illinois production facility, and the company expects to start customer deliveries in late 2020.

The product release puts Rivian in the position to directly compete with Tesla, which has already released an all-electric SUV and is working to develop a pick-up truck.

Founded in 2009, Rivian currently employees over 750 people and has development centers in Michigan, California and England.

Rivian previously raised about $500 million from Sumitomo, a Japanese conglomerate known for its tire division, and Saudi industrial group Abdul Latif Jameel, according to The New York Times.

In addition to Amazon, this investment round also included participation by those existing shareholders, according to company. Rivian did not reveal how much of its funding came from each investor.

“We’re inspired by Rivian’s vision for the future of electric transportation,” Jeff Wilke, CEO of Amazon’s worldwide consumer division, said. “RJ [Scaringe] has built an impressive organization, with a product portfolio and technology to match. We’re thrilled to invest in such an innovative company.”

Earlier this week, Reuters reported rumors that both General Motors and Amazon were planning to invest in Rivian, but General Motors was not named in the company’s funding announcement.

Despite Amazon’s investment, Rivian said it will remain an independent company.

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Ashley Coker, Staff Writer

Ashley is interested in the opportunities and issues that arise at the intersection of law and technology. She is the primary contributor to the truckloadindexes.com news site content. She studied journalism at Middle Tennessee State University and worked as an editor and reporter at two daily newspapers before joining FreightWaves. Ashley spends her free time at the dog park with her beagle, Ruth, or scouring the internet for last minute flight deals.
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