Heavily-Funded Electric Truckmaker Rivian Plans IPO With Confidential SEC Filing

Rivian Automotive, the best-funded electric vehicle startup in U.S. history, is moving ahead with plans to go public with a confidential filing with the Securities and Exchange Commision. 

The company said today it submitted a confidential S-1 registration statement with the SEC on its initial public offering plans this week, without elaborating. In an emailed stated, Rivian said “the size and price range for the proposed offering have yet to be determined. The initial public offering is expected to take place after the SEC completes its review process, subject to market and other conditions.”

Rivian spokeswoman Amy Mast confirmed the step but declined to share additional details. 

The move has been expected, after multiple media reports in recent months said the Irvine, California-based company was in talks with potential advisors about the deal. It also comes as Rivian prepares to begin production of R1T electric pickups and R1S SUVs at a refurbished plant in Illinois and searches for a second U.S. production facility.

Just last month the company founded by MIT-trained engineer RJ Scaringe said it boosted its cash hoard with a fundraising round that brought in a further $2.5 billion. The startup has raised at least $11.5 billion since 2017, more than any new vehicle company in U.S. history. Its valuation is currently estimated to be at least $70 billion by Pitchbook, ahead of the start of production.

Rivian will compete head-to-head with Tesla in the nascent electric pickup space, with its innovative but more traditionally-styled R1T going up against Elon Musk’s hard-edged Cybertruck. And where Rivian’s branding ties its models to healthy outdoor activities at pristine mountains, beaches and winter scenes, Cybertruck is more of a futuristic military vehicle crafted for gamers into Terminator-like, post-apocalyptic settings.  

The company told customers in July that initial deliveries of the R1T  and R1S are delayed due to chip shortages that have impacted the global auto industry. The first pickups are likely to be delivered in September with SUVs following soon after.

Along with consumer pickups and SUVs, Rivian’s revenue stream should benefit in the early years from Amazon’s order for 100,000 electric delivery vans.

Forbes estimates Scaringe’s net worth is $3.4 billion based on his stake in closely held Rivian.

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