Musk’s new electric car brand has filed for a $500 million IPO

The Rivian, a new, high-tech brand based in Roseville, Calif., has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering that would value the company at almost $70 billion.

The car maker, co-founded by former Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, and owned by Musk’s holding company, announced Tuesday it plans to raise up to $500 million in the IPO.

Founded in 2014, Rivian has raised $9 billion in equity and $8.5 billion in debt, the company said, bringing its valuation to $10.75 billion after the IPO.

Before Musk’s involvement, Rivian was set up by Ryan Kubota, a 27-year-old CEO and self-described “technology engineer with a flair for design.” Kubota led the design of the R1T electric four-seater vehicle, which the company says can reach 200 miles on a single charge.

In a Facebook post Tuesday, Kubota called Rivian an “innovative, growth-oriented” company.

“Many electric vehicles today only provide a fraction of their range while being constrained by the weight of the battery,” he wrote. “Rivian’s design approach enables Rivian’s R1T to be 500% heavier and still offer an impressive 200 miles of range.”

The R1T has been the subject of intense public scrutiny, as some critics have speculated the company’s SUV-like electric vehicle, which can travel nearly 200 miles on a single charge, may be unsafe. Musk, however, has forcefully defended the safety of the vehicle.

Th most expensive car in the world was here… My car is safer than yours! https://t.co/lkx5hC5Kmt — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 5, 2018

In a post on the Rivian website, Kubota offered detailed explanations of the company’s progress and defended the design approach, saying: “We didn’t want to be constrained by the perceived weight of a heavy battery, but rather by the amount of power needed to push the gas right up to the limit in order to get a meaningful amount of range.”

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