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Rivian announces another major funding haul

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Add $2.65 billion to the cash pile

Image: Rivian

Amazon-backed electric vehicle startup Rivian has raised another $2.65 billion, bolstering its position as one of the most well-funded EV startups in the world.

The investment round was led by T. Rowe Price and included Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, Fidelity Management and Research Company, and investment firms Coatue and D1 Capital Partners, along with “several other existing and new investors,” according to the startup.

The new money arrives a mere six months after Rivian raised $2.5 billion, and about a year after it raised $1.3 billion. It has now raised more than $8 billion to date.

It’s hard to say exactly how much Rivian has in the bank, given that it has spent a lot already to hire a massive team while also developing at least three vehicles that we know of. But after this new funding round, the EV startup’s war chest likely rivals that of China’s Nio, which also has billions of dollars in the bank following a number of recent raises. (A direct comparison here is tough, though, since some Chinese startups like Nio have received government support.)

That money will be crucial as Rivian gets ready to release its first two electric vehicles later this year, the R1T pickup truck and the R1S SUV. Rivian is also working with Amazon on developing and deploying an electric delivery van, which recently was spotted in the wild.

Whats notable about Rivian’s ability to keep raising such enormous sums of money is that the startup is doing it while keeping the company private. There has been an incredible rush of new funding into the electric vehicle space over the last year, inspired in large part thanks to Tesla. But much of it has come through so-called SPAC (special purpose acquisition) mergers, where publicly-traded but mostly dormant investment funds have absorbed companies like Canoo and Fisker.

Rivian is also backed by BlackRock, Soros Fund Management LLC, and Ford, though the Detroit automaker has not been named in the previous two funding rounds. Rivian is working on an electric vehicle with Ford’s luxury marque, Lincoln, though an SUV collaboration was already shelved last year.

Ford didn’t participate in this new round of funding, though. “We maintain a significant strategic interest, an important ownership stake and board representation in Rivian,” the company said in a statement to The Verge.

Update January 19th, 1:15PM ET: Added comment from Ford.