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Electric truck maker Rivian raises $1.3bn in new funding

Amazon and Ford backed Rivian ready to roll out first EVs in 2020

Rivian Automotive Inc., the electric-truck startup already backed by Amazon.com Inc. and Ford Motor Co., raised another $1.3bn from investors led by T. Rowe Price to support the rollout of its debut vehicles next year.

The funds generated from Rivian’s fourth major investment this year boosts the total raised to $2.85bn, reports Bllomberg. The Plymouth, Michigan-based manufacturer said Amazon, Ford and funds managed by BlackRock also participated in the round.

Rivian’s latest haul comes as the company is drawing significant interest from businesses wanting to shift to electric vehicles. Chief Executive Officer R.J. Scaringe has spent the last seven years developing a pickup and sport utility vehicle that will be built off a common architecture that could be used for other models in the future. The platform, which Scaringe prefers to refer to as a “skateboard,” is a big part of his vision to deliver returns to those who’ve backed him.

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Several of Rivian’s investors are also its future customers. Amazon has ordered ordered 100,000 electric last-mile delivery vans from the company, while Ford plans to use its skateboard for a new battery-electric vehicle. Rivian is aiming to launch its R1T plug-in pickup and R1S SUV late next year.

T. Rowe’s investment in Rivian is the latest in a series of bets it has made this year on the future of the auto industry. In May, it joined Honda Motor Co. and Softbank Vision Fund in a $1.15 billion funding round for Cruise LLC, a self-driving startup majority-owned by General Motors Co. In June, it backed self-driving technology startup Aurora Innovation Inc.

The investment earmarked for Rivian came from certain mutual funds and other accounts advised by T. Rowe, said a spokesman for the Baltimore-based asset manager.