Electric vehicle startup Rivian on Friday said it closed a $2.5 billion investment round led by funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates as the company moves closer to production of an all-electric pickup and SUV.
Other participants in the round included Soros Fund Management, Coatue, Fidelity Management and Research Company as well as Baron Capital Group. Existing shareholders Amazon and funds managed by BlackRock also participated.
The funding comes as the company continues to renovate a former Mitsubishi plant in Normal, Illinois, to produce its vehicles as well as a line of EV vans. Amazon preordered 100,000 of the vans last year for its delivery fleet.
In June, CNBC obtained correspondence regarding a funding round for Rivian, saying the company was raising at least $2 billion with a pre-money valuation at or above $8 billion. At the time, Rivian denied they were raising money.
"We often receive unsolicited investment offers from institutions and individual investors," Amy Mast, public relations director at Rivian, said in a June 9 email. "We have heard this rumor ourselves — it is categorically false. Publishing this would be spreading a rumor that is simply not true."
Mast declined to comment on her remarks Friday.
More recently, CEO and founder Robert "R.J." Scaringe told CNBC the company was "open" to additional financing to help support its "aggressive growth plans."
The would-be Tesla competitor raised $2.85 billion last year from Amazon, Cox Automotive, T. Rowe Price Associates and Ford Motor, among others. Rivian raised $1.3 billion in December, its most recent funding round and biggest capital raise last year.
Despite the coronavirus and ongoing recession, investors have shown high interest in electric automakers. Shares of Nikola Motor, which plans to make electric trucks, surged last month after going public through a reverse merger. Its market valuation is in line with Ford, even though it doesn't expect to generate revenue until 2021.
Rivian is expected to be among the first, if not the first, to bring an all-electric pickup to market by early to mid-2021 – potentially years ahead of its competitors, including Nikola, Tesla and General Motors.
Rivian is taking preorders for its all-electric pickup and SUV that include $1,000 refundable deposits.
Rivian, like Tesla, plans to sell its vehicles directly to consumers, bypassing franchised dealers that are used by "traditional" automakers such as GM and Ford.