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Amazon leads $700m investment in electric truck startup Rivian

Tyrone Stewart

RivianElectric truck startup Rivian has raised $700m in a funding round led by Amazon, just months after unveiling its first two vehicles.

It’s expected that Amazon’s bet on the company will eventually lead to Rivian vehicles being used by Amazon to bring change to its delivery system.

“This investment is an important milestone for Rivian and the shift to sustainable mobility,” said RJ Scaringe, Rivian founder and CEO. “Beyond simply eliminating compromises that exist around performance, capability and efficiency, we are working to drive innovation across the entire customer experience. Delivering on this vision requires the right partners, and we are excited to have Amazon with us on our journey to create products, technology and experiences that reset expectations of what is possible.”

Rivian debuted the all-electric R1T pickup and R1S SUV at the LA Auto Show in November. These vehicles, which use a flexible skateboard platform to enable them to carry different body shapes, are expected to start delivering to customers in late 2020.

Despite the size of the round, which also included participation from existing shareholders including Standard Chartered Bank and Sumitomo Corporation of America, the company will continue to operate independently.

“We're inspired by Rivian's vision for the future of electric transportation,” said Jeff Wilke, Amazon CEO Worldwide Consumer. “RJ has built an impressive organisation, with a product portfolio and technology to match. We're thrilled to invest in such an innovative company.”