By Joi Ito, CNN • Updated 13th November 2014
What happens when you mix electric vehicles with filmmaking and a lot of suspense? You get $274 million.
Evan Rachel Wood , singer, actress and actress’ actress girlfriend, provided the caption that captured the zeitgeist in the wake of Rivian’s $274 million public offering.
“Last night, I pulled the trigger on the best decision of my life,” wrote Wood on a selfie taken with the classic Prius she was given in prom. “I poured my heart and soul into bringing this company to life.”
The Portland, Oregon-based electric carmaker known for building an electric vehicle with a huge wheelspan is now a company. The company raised $272 million in a first round of public offering, with no shares sold below $20 each. At $70 each, the firm’s market cap is $274 million.
Written by Joi Ito, CNN • Updated 15th June 2014
Rivian, which had raised $47 million from venture capital investors, is offering 1.5 million shares at the IPO price.
CEO and co-founder Joe Wiesenfelder said the company’s choice to go public makes him and his team more focused on their mission.
“We have always been focused on cars as a catalyst for a bigger social movement, starting with EV adoption for the masses and then expanding to the real city car for adults that other EVs have lacked or are lacking today,” he said.
Rivian is the latest company to combine environmental and social and corporate responsibility goals with evolving business models, offering creative solutions to what is often seen as a fad industry. The company sold 3,300 in 2013, the most of any green carmaker in the U.S. as listed by Automotive News. Rivian generated $30 million in revenue last year.
The company hasn’t named any electric models and has expressed disappointment that it doesn’t yet have any government incentives for electric vehicles.
But Rivian says it has U.S. and global plans, especially for China, the world’s largest car market.
Wiesenfelder said Rivian plans to add about 10,000 cars to its production rate each year for the next five years and could add another 10,000 by 2025. It is also considering building a second production line by 2023 in Brazil, Mexico or the U.S.
Car producers who already have electric vehicles on the market will have an advantage in the market.
“We’re going to set ourselves apart because we are also a high-end vehicle for the eco-conscious,” said Wiesenfelder. “In terms of styling, the interior and technology we will compete with the best in the industry.”
Rivian says it has a 30% cut in emissions compared to other electric cars and competes with Tesla’s Model S and a range of BMWs on a per mile basis.
“Because we are at the forefront of what will be the next generation of cars, our products will need to have a long term advantage and an edge,” said Wiesenfelder.