Rivian Automotive, the U.S.-based electric truck startup with financial backing from Amazon and American automaker Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F), has filed paperwork for an initial public offering (“IPO”) on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Formed back in 2009 by CEO RJ Scaringe, an engineering and lean manufacturing MIT grad who prized environment conservation and sustainability, Rivian has been involved in electric vehicle (“EV”) technology and autonomous driving for several years. Weeks after Rivian started delivering its first passenger EV, the R1T pickup, it is now looking to become a publicly traded company in the United States.
The Irvine, California-based company has raised more than $10 billion in private funding since 2019, and it has been burning through that cash setting up manufacturing facilities and developing electric cars. E-commerce giant Amazon and American automaker Ford are prominent backers, initially investing millions of dollars in 2019 and leading subsequent funding rounds, including a $2.5 billion private funding round in July. However, Rivian is yet to make a profit, with its IPO paperwork showing a $994 million net loss on revenue for the first half of 2021 and a net loss of $1.02 billion last year.
Rivian is still a development-stage company, the EV maker explained in its filing, and it still hasn’t generated any material revenue so far. Even so, Rivian was the first to unveil an electric pickup, beating Tesla, GM and Ford to the punch. The 2022 Rivian R1T, which is powered by a 135-kWh battery, has a maximum towing capacity of 11,000 pounds, an estimated EPA range of 314 miles and has received positive early reviews. The electric truck maker now has more than 8,000 employees engaged across several facilities in Arizona, Illinois, Michigan, Canada, Vancouver, and the United Kingdom, according to a recent statement.
Both Amazon and Ford own more than a 5% stake in Rivian, and Amazon is poised to play a critical role in Rivian’s commercial vehicle business in the near future. Amazon will have some exclusive rights to buy electric delivery vehicles from the EV maker for at least four years and the right of refusal once the four years pass. Rivian will be able to back out of the agreement under certain conditions, including if Amazon doesn’t purchase at least 10,000 EVs over two consecutive years. Furthermore, Amazon may be forced to reimburse some costs to the EV maker.
Like Tesla, Rivian will pursue a vertically integrated strategy that will see it sell electric cars directly to customers instead of via franchised dealerships, service and repair vehicles on its own, and build an EV charging network that will be exclusive to Rivian owners. The company’s employees are also not unionized, although Rivian’s filing indicates that this could change in the future.
As Rivian goes public, it has its work cut out as other companies, including Net Element (NASDAQ: NETE), and their partners already have a foothold in the EV market.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Net Element (NASDAQ: NETE) are available in the company’s newsroom at http://ibn.fm/NETE
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