Tesla challenger Rivian just announced a $700 million investment led by Amazon

Rivian R1SMike Blake/Reuters

  • Rivian announced that Amazon would lead a $700 million investment round in the electric pickup truck and SUV startup.
  • Rivian has been seen as a rival to Tesla in the pickup segment; Tesla has yet to unveil a pickup.
  • Reports had circulated that General Motors would join Amazon in the investment, but Rivian's announcement made no mention of GM participation.

On Friday, electric pickup-truck and SUV maker Rivian announced a $700 million investment round led by Amazon.

"This investment is an important milestone for Rivian and the shift to sustainable mobility," RJ Scaringe, Rivian's founder and CEO, said in a statement.

"Delivering on this vision requires the right partners, and we are excited to have Amazon with us on our journey to create products, technology and experiences that reset expectations of what is possible."

The Michigan-based startup recently unveiled a pair of all-electric vehicles, the R1T pickup and R1S SUV, at the 2018 Los Angeles auto show. The company has pitched itself toward the high-performance, adventure-oriented segment of the market, where gas-powered competition would include the likes of the Ford Raptor pickup.

But on the electric side, Rivian has been viewed as a Tesla rival, especially given Tesla CEO Elon Musk's pledge to reveal an electric pickup, possibly by this summer.

Prior to the news of the Amazon deal, there had been reports that Amazon and General Motors would combine to invest in Rivian at a valuation of $1-2 billion. Rivian's announcement made no mention of GM, but said that Amazon would lead this investment round with addition capital coming from existing investors.

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