Amazon-backed electric vehicle maker Rivian files to go public at reported $80B valuation

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Rivian trucks are lined up at Blue Origin’s launch pad in Texas after the New Shepard suborbital spaceflight that carried Jeff Bezos. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle)

Rivian, the electric vehicle maker that has attracted huge funding from Amazon and others, announced Friday that it plans to go public, and one report values the company at roughly $80 billion.

Rivian said the size and range for the proposed initial public offering has yet to be determined and is expected to take place after a Securities and Exchange Commission review process. Bloomberg reported the valuation number, citing people familiar with the matter.

Amazon has been pouring money into the automaker for a couple years, investing in rounds of $700 million and $1.3 billion in 2019. In July, the tech giant was among lead investors, along with Ford Motor Co., in a $2.5 billion round. Amazon is investing through its Climate Pledge Fund, which is aimed at backing companies that accelerate Amazon’s pledge to be net zero carbon across its businesses by 2040.

“In our view, Rivian is one of the best-positioned electric vehicle startups,” said PitchBook Senior Mobility Analyst Asad Hussain. “The company’s focus on the relatively untapped premium electric truck market should allow it to gain rapid market adoption.”

Founded in 2009, Rivian has raised $10.5 billion to date, but it has been hit with delays when it comes to delivery of its R1T pickup.

Amazon is planning to buy 100,000 electric vans from the automaker for its delivery fleet and plans to have 10,000 on the road as early as 2022, and all 100,000 by 2030.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his Blue Origin space venture have managed to get their hands on some Rivian trucks, using the vehicles to carry crew members to the launch pad and pick them up after his recent suborbital space mission in Texas.

California-based Rivian — sometimes called the “Tesla of Trucks” — is setting up a showroom in Seattle and a service center in nearby Bellevue, Wash., GeekWire previously reported.