Rivian's Latest Funding Round Will Make Tesla Jealous

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Christmas comes early as the electric truck maker secures $1.3 billion in funding.

Rivian has had one hell of a year. It's hard to call a ten-year-old company a startup at this point, but it's technically correct as Rivian is still taking investment as it works towards its first full vehicle launch. In February, Rivian raised $700 million from companies that included Amazon, Ford invested $500 million in April, and Cox Automotive put down $350 million in September. It's not just been investments, though, and Amazon and Rivian signed a deal for the EV maker to build 100,000 delivery vans for the online shopping site. Now, as we enter the last gasps of 2019, T. Rowe Price Associates has invested a startling $1.3 billion in Rivian.

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"This investment demonstrates confidence in our team, products, technology and strategy – we are extremely excited to have the support from such strong shareholders," said Rivian Founder and CEO RJ Scaringe said in a statement. Rivian also made it clear that no new board seats have been added, and additional details about this investment are not being disclosed at this time.

The upcoming production vehicles for the mass market by Rivian are an all-electric truck and SUV, the R1T and R1S, built on the company's modular "skateboard" platform. Both the truck and SUV are being built at Rivian's manufacturing plant in Normal, Illinois, and customer deliveries are expected to begin at the end of 2020.

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The SUV will be available in two or three-row seating configurations, and the SUV and pickup truck are reportedly capable of over 400 miles of range with larger battery pack options. The first batch of 10,000 delivery vans is due to go into Amazon's fleet in 2022 and the rest by 2030.

It's the pressure of companies, including Rivian, bringing their all-electric trucks to market that prompted Tesla to wheel out an unpolished concept in the form of the Cybertruck. At the pace announced trucks are set to start dropping next year, Tesla is going to miss the party. Given it's an untested market, and an expensive one, Tesla might have a chance to sit back and watch other companies work out their teething problems for a change.

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