The Rivian electric vehicle startup made history on Thursday, when it filed for an initial public offering, valuing the company at nearly $70 billion after it raised $1.1 billion in its initial public offering.
Rivian has seen remarkable growth in a relatively short period. The company started in 2010 with a team of only 15 employees who incorporated a never-produced concept car called Concept One into a company called I.P.O. Imitation. The startup said it produces the first truly mainstream electric autonomous commercial vehicle called the Rivian R1T, which can be charged in six hours.
The company’s IPO has been ranked by multiple publications as the largest ever for a startup. The Washington Post examined some of the other notable companies going public, in the first half of the 20th century.
Here are some of the news reports from Thursday:
What’s most remarkable about Rivian is that it is not a car company, but a ride-sharing company. It created the company to provide free service in rural communities around the country—including its own offices—to introduce the idea of electric transit that can be self-driving. Since it broke ground in 2014, its company built a manufacturing plant in Normal, Ill., which began producing R1T in 2016, and opened offices in Los Angeles and Dallas. It also opened R1 lines in Germany and the Netherlands, where it aims to start selling R1Ts in 2020.
As of April 30, the company’s battery and electric motor, and battery storage systems were sold to car manufacturers including BMW, Infiniti, and BMW Group. These organizations will ultimately decide whether to put the Rivian technology into cars made for themselves and their brands, according to a statement from Rivian. But the Rivian electric vehicle provides some of the benefits of owning a new car while not breaking the bank, according to the company.
“While owning a brand new car is attractive, it can also be expensive, locking you into a vehicle lease for years with payments rising with inflation. No hybrid or all-electric car, like the Rivian R1T, has the functionality of a traditional car yet still offers freedom to choose your own ride anytime, any place,” Rivian said in its statement.
In a bid to change the way consumers view cars, Rivian maintains there is no technical barrier to reach many buyers who don’t own a car. Rivian is also targeting non-professional drivers, since the cars it builds can deliver up to 200 miles of range, by the year 2050.