Rivian Automotive Inc. has not only launched the world's first electric pickup in an attempt to conquer the great outdoors but it is also set to become a public company. Additionally, the EV automaker is also about to open the first of its experiential brand spaces in Venice on Sunday.
First Hub in Venice
Rivian's Hub on Venice Boulevard is designed to be much more than the typical dealer retail shop. Although there will be vehicles, Venice will also be a workshop venue for events with speakers even on organic gardening and National Parks. It will contain an on-site library and a community garden. In a nutshell, it will be a place where those interested in protecting the planet can mix and mingle.
The Green Experience
Rivian wants to offer four experiential hubs to its existing and prospective consumers that are meant to bring an appreciation of the outdoors to urban cities. This isn't an entirely new strategy as its rival Nio Inc (NYSE: NIO) named its showrooms "Nio Houses," as these club-style spaces are meant to bring potential and current customers together to socialize, work, and play. Its first house outside of China opened recently in Norway.
Rivian is also planning to open "outposts" that will be located near tourist spots, offering gear and vehicle rentals besides showcasing the cars with "preserves"in nature" to support its mission "to conserve and save". To power those plans, it will establish its own charging network and offer fleet charging for its commercial customers, along with software and the required tools.
In August, Rivian has filed for a confidential IPO but it publicly submitted the paperwork two weeks ago. It is seeking to sell $100 million worth of shares on the NASDAQ under the ticker RIVN, hoping to raise $8 billion during its public debut expected to take place around Thanksgiving that would value the company at $80 billion. If successful, this will be one of the largest IPOs in an American market in the past decade, raising roughly the same amount as Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE: UBER) did in 2019.
Rivian does fit in the framework of the Biden administration. It has a technical founder, it is actually creating something useful and it is producing it in the country. Moreover, it's going public the traditional way, as opposed to the trending and more founder-friendly special purpose acquisition company that allows a company to raise cash quickly.
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) are some of Rivian's backers. Through several investment rounds, it raised $10.5 billion since 2019, with the latest a $2.5 billion funding round in July, led by Amazon.com's Climate Pledge Fund and others.
The World's First Electric Pickup
Rivian managed to do something before the EV leader Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) itself by launching its R1T, the world's first electric pickup truck, in September. Like its famous competitor, Rivian also wants to skip dealerships and sell directly to consumers. The SUV's launch, more precisely of the R1S, is scheduled for December. Meanwhile, Tesla's Cybertruck is proposed to enter production in 2023. Truck and the SUV sales are expected to pick up the pace in December and January.
Besides an electric pickup truck and an electric SUV, it will also be making electric delivery vans for Amazon with plans to deliver 100,000 electric "last mile" vans by 2025, making the company greatly dependent on the e-commerce giant for the foreseeable future. The company said it has 48,390 R1T and R1S preorders in the U.S. and Canada as of September.
A Brand for Active Lifestyles
Rivian's founder and ‘car-obsessed' Chief Executive Robert "RJ" Scaringe decided to found Rivian when he realized that the object of his love was "the source of society's biggest environmental challenges", with the brand moving from a concept of sports-cars to electric SUVs and pickups.
All eyes are on the R1T that has hit the road in September, but this won't be the only electric pickup on the market for a very long time with peers such as Atlis Motor Vehicles and Hercules Electric Vehicles launching their own ambitious models next year, both of which will be powered with Worksport Ltd's (NASDAQ: WKSP) revolutionary TerraVis solar technology.
The Financial Side Of the Equation
Like the majority of startups, Rivian hasn't yet made any money money and isn't expecting to do so in the near future as it will continue investing in its business.
It lost $426 million in 2019. Last year, the loss widened to $1 billion. During the first half of 2021, it lost $994 million, or $9.84 a share, which is far worse than the $3.77 a share it lost over the first six months of 2020 as it has been spending most of its money on R&D whose expenses rose to $683 million during that time frame with total operating expenses that include both R&D and general expenses, reaching $990 million, up from $381 million in the year-ago period.
As of June, Rivian had $3 million in debt. In July, it issued $2.5 billion in unsecured senior convertible notes, expecting those to be converted into stock with its IPO. As of September, it had zero borrowings under its revolving credit facility.
Illinois factory's capacity stands at 150,000 vehicles a year with plans to expand to 200,000 by 2023, along with plans to build additional domestic and international factories. The "vast majority" of stamping is done in house, along withbattery packs and drive-unit assembly as the Illinois plant is vertically integrated. Although it is now making a loss on zero revenue, it did deliver the world's first electric pickup However, the arrival of other electric pickups from 2022 and onwards will play a key role in its fate.
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