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Amazon Leads Charge On Electric Truck Maker Rivian’s $700M Funding Round

Plymouth, Mich.-based Rivian, a developer of electric pickup trucks, has raised $700 million in a fresh funding round led by Amazon.

Unnamed existing shareholders also participated in the financing.

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In a press release issued this morning, Rivian said it would remain an independent company, an implication that Amazon took an undisclosed stake in the startup as part of the transaction. Founded in 2009 by MIT alum Robert “RJ” Scaringe, the company had previously raised just over $200 million in debt financing.

Rivian said it plans to launch its first electric pickup trucks and SUVs in the U.S. in late 2020 and in other countries in 2021. The vehicles will be produced at Rivian’s 2.6 million-square-foot manufacturing plant in Normal, Illinois. The 750-person company also has development centers in Plymouth, San Jose, Irvine, and Surrey, England.

“This investment is an important milestone for Rivian and the shift to sustainable mobility,” Scaringe said in a press release. “Beyond simply eliminating compromises that exist around performance, capability and efficiency, we are working to drive innovation across the entire customer experience.”

Jeff Wilke, CEO of Amazon’s worldwide consumer division, said the company was “inspired” by Rivian’s vision for the future of electric transportation.

“RJ has built an impressive organization, with a product portfolio and technology to match,” he added.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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