A new round of funding reportedly puts the company's valuation at around $25 billion.
Last year was a difficult one for automakers the world over, but it was perhaps especially rough for electric vehicle startups like Rivian. After hashing out a plan to finally start production on the long-awaited Rivian R1T pickup truck last December, a global pandemic struck, temporarily shuttering the company's Normal, Illinois factory and pushing everything back substantially.
Yet despite the fact that Rivian still has yet to assemble a saleable electric vehicle, the EV startup is reportedly close to capping off a funding round that could see its valuation climb to $25 billion, making it nearly as valuable as Ford with its $33.8-billion market cap.
That might sound crazy for a company that's still months away from getting its assembly lines rolling, but in a world where Tesla is worth roughly eleven times what GM is despite selling a small fraction as many vehicles, it's not all that surprising. Rivian is thought to have previously been valued at around $8 billion, but the company isn't publicly traded, instead raising funds through direct investments from companies including Amazon, BlackRock, Cox Automotive, Fidelity, Ford, Soros Fund Management, and T. Rowe Price.
Some or all of those companies are involved in Rivian's latest funding round, Bloomberg reports, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter.
Beside the Rivian R1T electric pickup truck, which is now expected to start deliveries this summer, the company also has a mechanically similar SUV in the works, the Rivian R1S, due to launch around the same time as the R1T, as well as a line of pure-electric delivery vans for Amazon's Prime delivery service expected on the road by 2022. The startup had been tapped to produce an electric luxury crossover for Ford's Lincoln brand, but that project was put on ice last spring.
Rivian is one of the most promising challengers to Tesla's EV market dominance, with cutting-edge battery and propulsion technology that will lend its vehicles competitive output and range.