Rivian, the electric vehicle startup with an eye towards adventure, has thus far had no trouble securing capital. Therefore it may come as no surprise to hear that Rivian has just secured a $350 million investment from Cox Automotive, a global leader in automotive services.
Newest Rivian Investment
Tuesday’s announcement is the third Rivian investment made in 2019 alone. Back in February, Rivian raised $700 million in an investment round led by Amazon. Once April rolled around, the startup found itself announcing another investment, this time a whopping $500 million from Ford Motor Company.
Despite receiving investments from some pretty huge companies, Rivian seems determined to remain independent. The two companies have said that they want to “explore partnership opportunities in service operations, logistics, and digital retailing”. Cox Automotive will also get to add a representative to Rivian’s board of directors.
While Cox Automotive has not acquired nor invested in a vehicle manufacturer before, they are certainly well acquainted with automotive-related companies. Cox Automotive (as well as its parent company, Cox Enterprises), has a global reach which would be of great important to Rivian. They currently specialize in logistics, fleet management, service, and digital retailing.
They currently own almost 30 automotive brands, including big names such as Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book, Pivet, RideKleen, and Manheim. These companies deal with the transportation, service, and auction of vehicles in more than 150 locations worldwide. Cox Automotive is also involved in peer-to-peer car-sharing and rental, as well as companies such as Clutch Technologies, which created the software that runs subscription services for Porsche, Mercedes, and BMW. While Rivian has never announced plans on including any sort of subscription services to their vehicles, this type of experience would come in handy if they wanted to pursue it in the future.
Cox Automotive obviously has a finger on the pulse of the market, and as such is also starting to branch out into services related to electric vehicles. Part of its business has begun to include things like battery diagnostics and second-life battery applications.
Today Rivian has more than 1,000 employees in six locations, and it continues to grow. Four development offices and a factory are based in the United States. They also have an advanced engineering office located in the United Kingdom. Its main office in Plymouth, Michigan, houses the bulk of its employees close to an expansive automotive supply chain.
Rivian hit the ground running with the reveal of its all-electric R1T pickup and the R1S SUV back in November of 2018, and it does not seem to have slowed down since. Deliveries of its first two models are expected to begin in late 2020, and if all goes well, four additional models will follow through 2025.