Rivian Automotive Inc., the electric-truck startup backed byAmazon.com Inc. andFord Motor Co., is close to raising a new round of funding valuing it at about $25 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.
Several existing Rivian investors are participating in the round, which will raise several billion dollars, the people added, asking not to be identified because the matter is private.
Existing investors in the company include Amazon, T. Rowe Price Group Inc., BlackRock Inc., Soros Fund Management, Coatue, Fidelity Investments and Baron Capital Group.
The funding isn’t finalized and details could still change.
A representative for Rivian said, “We are focused on delivering the R1T, R1S, and Amazon delivery vehicles in 2021. We often speak to investors, and we have no announcement to make at this time.”
Rivian is developing two battery-electric consumer cars designed to handle off-road terrain. The R1T is an electric pickup that the company says is capable of driving more than 300 miles on a single charge and towing up to 11,000 pounds. The R1S is a sport utility vehicle built on the same platform.
Race with Tesla
The new funds would add to the $6 billion Rivian has already raised to date, which makes it one of the most-well capitalized electric vehicle makers.
The startup was founded in 2009 by R.J. Scaringe, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate with a doctorate in mechanical engineering, who is Rivian’s chief executive officer.
Deliveries of its first batch of pickups, which Rivian hasn’t quantified but has said are sold out, are due to start in June. If it sticks to that timeline, Rivian has a shot at being the first company to bring a battery electric pickup — one of the most anticipated vehicle categories — to the U.S. market.
The R1T faces an onslaught of competition from new and established automakers alike, and is aiming for an untested market. While pickups are bestsellers in the U.S., it’s unclear how much demand there is for battery-powered trucks.
Tesla Inc., the incumbent in the EV market, also plans to bring a battery-electric pickup to market by the end of this year. The Elon Musk-led company plans to build the futuristic-looking ‘Cybertruck’ at a plant it’s building in Austin, Texas.
Rivian’s more than 3,000 employees are split between sites in California, Michigan and a production facility in Normal, Illinois.
Rivian is also developing 100,000 delivery vans for Amazon.
— With assistance by Gabrielle Coppola
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