Electric truck maker Rivian secures over $1.3 billion in funding
California-based automaker Rivian have just scored some major investment
Rivian is amongst the decade's most promising startup companies, having received over $1.7 billion in funding from various companies such as Amazon before even beginning production of its RiT electric truck and R1S electric SUV.
However, as if $1.7 billion in 2019 alone wasn't enough Rivian have decided to cap that off by its most recent funding round which added just over $1.3 billion to their bank account, led by T. Rowe Price, a firm which is also a major investor in Tesla.
Companies such as Amazon and most notably Ford have previously participated in funding Rivian. Ford made a further $500 million investment in Rivian earlier this year, and Amazon led a round of funding which consisted of over $700 million, with promises to order 103,000 Rivian delivery vehicles for its fleet.
However, one may soon start to ask why a company which has produced no vehicles, or any profit, justifies such ferocious financial support. And it's a fair question because on the surface it seems like Rivian's only products are its line of pickups.
The secret lies in Rivian's proprietary skateboard, something which houses the battery, suspension, braking system, and mechanical components together in a platform that is all below the height of the wheels, something which they have been cooking up for over 10 years now.
Rivian could easily leverage this technology for massive profits, with the possibility of selling it to various automakers such as Ford who may not want to develop their own in-house powertrains.
This strategy is not unique amongst the automotive industry as manufacturers such as Volkswagen have done the same thing with their MEB electric car platform, which Ford has already said will serve as the basis for one or more electric vehicles in the future. Curiously, however, Tesla show no interest in developing a similar skateboard, despite Elon Musk's past claims that he would be open to licensing out Tesla's supercharger network to other manufacturers.