Investments

Amazon Leads $700M Round In Electric Automaker Rivian

Following the unveiling of its electric vehicle concepts in 2018, Rivian Automotive LLC has notched a $700 million equity investment led by Amazon. And the electric automaker, which is based in Michigan, is reportedly in discussions with General Motors about potential funding, Bloomberg reported.

Rivian Automotive LLC Chief Executive Officer Robert J. Scaringe said before a Friday (Feb. 15) announcement, according to the outlet, “We will bring on additional partners, but less because of capital reasons and more because of a need to have strategic relationships as we scale toward our broader vision.”

According to unnamed sources in the Bloomberg report, talks with Rivian and GM are still occurring, and it is not known if GM would have equity in such an arrangement.

As it stands, the company has notched roughly $1.15 billion in funding. Its R1S sport utility vehicle and R1T pickup reportedly had outstanding reviews at November’s Los Angeles Auto Show, and it is said they could have a driving range as high as 400 miles.

The news comes as self-driving car technology company Aurora notched upwards of $530 million in a Series B financing round led by Sequoia Capital, with a large investment from T. Rowe Price Associates as well as Amazon, per reports earlier this month. That investment came on the heels of a February 2018 funding round of $90 million from Greylock Partners and Index Ventures. Aurora’s valuation was said to be at $2.5 billion earlier this month.

Aurora, which has offices in Palo Alto and San Francisco as well as Pittsburgh, has grown quickly since its 2017 founding. The firm hired SpaceX’s former head of software engineering, Jinnah Hosein, to head up its software engineering team. The company reportedly has partnerships with Hyundai, Volkswagen and Chinese electric vehicle startup Byton. Engineers for Aurora are seeking Level 4 autonomy in their vehicles, through which the cars would handle all of the driving in certain conditions.

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