The hottest EV startup right now has just become hotter following a $350 million (€317 million) cash injection from Cox Automotive.
The equity investment of $350 million from global automotive services company Cox Automotive comes with no apparent strings attached, as Rivian will remain an independent company. However, Cox Automotive will add a representative to Rivian’s board and the two companies “will explore partnership opportunities in service operations, logistics, and digital retailing.”
It’s the third major investment Rivian has received this year following a $700 million funding from Amazon in February and a $500 million investment from Ford in April. The latest cash influx is an interesting move seeing as Cox Automotive is a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, a holding company home to nearly 30 automotive brands.
The group’s portfolio includes Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book, Pivet, RideKleen and Manheim, with the latter transporting, servicing, and auctioning vehicles across more than 150 global locations.
“We are excited to work with Cox Automotive in delivering a consistent customer experience across our various touchpoints. Cox Automotive’s global footprint, service and logistics capabilities, and retail technology platform make them a great partner for us,” said RJ Scaringe, founder and CEO of Rivian. The key word here seems to be “synergy” as Joe George, president of Cox Automotive Mobility Group, explains.
“With the electrification of vehicles set to play a significant role in the new mobility future, this partnership opens another channel of discovery and learning for Cox Automotive,” the executive said. “Advancements in battery technology and the electrification of fleets are two of our primary focus areas, and we believe this relationship will prove to be mutually beneficial,” he added.
Rivian is one of the most promising EV startups right now, having developed two clean sheet electric adventure vehicles, the R1T truck and R1S SUV. Both are built on a flexible skateboard platform and will be available with up to 400 miles (644 kilometers) of range. Rivian also promises the two vehicles will offer “an unmatched combination of off-road utility and high performance.” The first deliveries are expected in late 2020.
Note: Rivian R1T Camper pictured below