Rivian, an electric truck maker, files for IPO

Rivien, a promising and well-funded electric truck manufacturer , said on Friday that he planned to sell shares through an initial publi...


Rivien, a promising and well-funded electric truck manufacturer, said on Friday that he planned to sell shares through an initial public offering, but provided few additional details.

The company, which has raised more than $ 10 billion from investors including Amazon and Ford Motor, is building an electric pickup truck and sport utility vehicle at a former Mitsubishi plant in Illinois. Its founder, RJ Scaringe, told customers last month that he expected the truck to ship in September and the SUV to follow soon after. The company is also developing delivery vans for Amazon.

Automotive analysts see Rivian as one of the most viable electric vehicle startups in what is expected to be a very competitive market. Besides Tesla, the dominant manufacturer of electric cars, major automakers like General Motors, Volkswagen and Ford plans to introduce dozens of electric cars and trucks in the coming years.

“He’s an EV juggernaut – he has the pedigree with Amazon, Ford and a who’s who of lenders,” said Dan Ives, managing director of equity research at Wedbush Securities. “Investors were waiting for the day a Rivian went public.”

If the company’s electric pickup comes out in September, it will beat the GMC Hummer Pickup Truck from GM, expected by the end of the year, and Ford’s electric F-150 Lightning. The gasoline-powered F-150 has long been the best-selling vehicle in the United States, and the electric version could become an instant force in the electric vehicle market when it debuts, most likely in the spring.

Rivian also plans to expand a network of charging sites and service centers, said Mr. Scaringe, an engineer with a doctorate. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in the July email to customers.

The company may be entering a crowded area, but it takes a different approach than Tesla, the pioneer most people think of when they think of electric cars. Tesla has had great success selling sports sedans, but it has yet to focus on vans and vehicles capable of getting off the road – lucrative segments of the auto industry. Rivian has focused on producing “adventure” vehicles that he says are designed for trails and dirt roads.

“Rivian is one of the best positioned electric vehicle startups,” said Asad Hussain, senior mobility analyst for PitchBook, via email. “The company’s focus on the relatively untapped high-end electric truck market should allow it to be quickly adopted by the market. “

The leaders of Rivian and Tesla are also very different. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been a brash and combative force in the auto industry, making big promises and engaging in public feuds with individuals and government agencies. Mr. Scaringe is underestimated and measured in his public statements and promises.

Yet the two executives are immersed in the details of their business. Mr Musk said he slept at his company’s main factory in Fremont, Calif., At important times when Tesla was ramping up production. Mr. Scaringe is also frequently present at the Rivian plant in Normal, Ill., And workers there refer to the color of robots and security lines that direct the flow of people as “RJ Blue.” “. It is known to influence vehicle colors, including one known as “launch green”.

This year, a California state judge authorized Tesla bring a lawsuit in which she claims that Rivian stole the intellectual property by hiring employees. Rivien said the lawsuit has no merit and is aimed at harming a rapidly growing competitor.

Although Rivian has been around in one form or another since 2009, he has faced frequent skepticism for much of the past decade about a product that seemed distant and speculative, Mr Scaringe said in an interview in June.

“At the very beginning, on Day 1, Year 1, the risk of starting a business like this is extremely high, and the probability of success was very low,” he said. “It’s just true. And I had to accept it.

But Mr Scaringe said he remained confident in his team and the strategic plan they had developed: first, raise enough money to develop core technologies – software, battery architecture, mechanical systems – who could support vehicles for consumers and business customers; then raise more capital to mass produce trucks and vans.

Rivian seemed to embark on this second phase a few years ago. In the fall of 2018, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, flew to Michigan meet Mr. Scaringe and get a preview of the company’s vehicles. By the end of the following year, Rivian had raised nearly $ 3 billion from investors such as Ford and Amazon, who also ordered 100,000 delivery vans.

“We knew that we had to develop strategic partners that would allow us to adapt to different segments and above all to be able to capture this fleet side,” said Mr. Scaringe. “Amazon saw a lot of credit in the way we approached both the development of the business and the opportunity for us to work together.”

When Mr Bezos flew into space last month aboard a rocket built by his company Blue Origin, he and the rest of his crew hitchhiked to the launch pad. in a Rivian vehicle.

Rivian’s other major backers include BlackRock, Fidelity, and T. Rowe Price.

The company’s decision to pursue an IPO is notable for another reason. More than two dozen companies producing electric vehicles, batteries and chargers have gone public or intend to do so by merging with specialist acquisition companies, or SPAC, according to Dealogic, a research firm.

Transactions with SPACs are seen as a fast track to public markets, while an IPO is a more rigorous process that tends to take longer and require more scrutiny. In recent months, some investors and regulators have questioned the optimistic statements of the creators of SAVS and the companies they have acquired, including a handful of electric vehicle companies.

By filing confidential documents for an IPO with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Rivian and his existing investors will retain much more control and ownership of their business than in a PSPC deal. The sponsors of these acquisition companies typically take a large chunk of a company’s ownership in compensation for quickly going public.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Rivian, an electric truck maker, files for IPO
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