Rivian IPO Filings Show Big Losses as It Debuts Electric Truck

Sarah Favot

Favot is an award-winning journalist and adjunct instructor at USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. She previously was an investigative and data reporter at national education news site The 74 and local news site LA School Report. She's also worked at the Los Angeles Daily News. She was a Livingston Award finalist in 2011 and holds a Master's degree in journalism from Boston University and BA from the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada.

Rivian IPO Filings Show Big Losses as It Debuts Electric Truck

Electric vehicle startup Rivian lost about $2 billion since the start of last year, according to its IPO filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Rivian is seen as among the leading electric vehicle startups that can rival Tesla, which sells the most electric vehicles in the U.S. by far. The company plans to trade its shares on the Nasdaq under the symbol RIVN.

But despite a roster of orders, Rivian is struggling to make money in a capital-intensive car market where it built itself from the ground up.

The company lost $1.02 billion last year and another $994 million in the first half of 2021. But, it has years to catch up with its competitor Tesla, which took 18 years to become profitable.

Founded in 2009, Rivian has focused on trucks and SUVs, a large segment of the American car market, and expanded into last-mile commercial delivery vans, where it found an ally Amazon and financial backer.

Potential customers have ordered 48,390 of its R1T pickup truck and R1S SUV, according to the filing. The EV pickup trucks have rolled off the production lines in Normal, Illinois and deliveries have begun. The SUVs are expected to be delivered later this year.

"We do not expect to be profitable for the foreseeable future as we invest in our business, build capacity and ramp up operations," Rivian said in the filing, "and we cannot assure you that we will ever achieve or be able to maintain profitability in the future."

Rivian expects a "significant portion" of its revenue will come from Amazon, which has invested over $1.8 billion in the company, according to the filing.

In 2019, it reached an agreement with Amazon to design, develop, manufacture and supply electric last-mile delivery vans. Amazon ordered 100,000 vans by 2030, with the first 10,000 expected to be delivered this year. Amazon will have exclusive rights to the delivery vans for four years after its first order is received and it has right of first refusal to buy the vans two years after that.

Amazon's logistics unit, however, has the right to decide how many vans it will purchase from Rivian, which may be fewer than expected, the filing shows. It can also work with other companies to develop or purchase vehicles.

The EV market is attracting lots of attention as major auto manufacturers, like General Motors and Ford, are adding dozens of EVs to their lineups, while EV startups are hoping to outrival the legacy car companies.

Lawmakers are also imposing rules to help spur the growth of the EV market in the face of global climate change.

It has raised $10.5 billion from investors like Amazon and Ford, built a factory in Illinois and employs about 8,000 people globally.

The Irvine-based company's public offering was imminent as it announced in late August it had filed a draft S-1 with the SEC. At the time, Bloomberg reported it was seeking an $80 billion valuation.

In the public filing, the startup listed the size of the offering at $100 million, a placeholder that is expected to change once the terms of the share sale are decided.

"I hope you'll join us in our journey to help drive the future of transportation," Founder and CEO Robert J. Scaringe wrote in a letter to prospective investors and Rivian owners.

The offering is being led by Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Group and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

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LA Venture: Emilio Diez Barroso On Why Everyone Isn’t Cut Out To Be A Founder

Minnie Ingersoll
Minnie Ingersoll is a partner at TenOneTen and host of the LA Venture podcast. Prior to TenOneTen, Minnie was the COO and co-founder of $100M+ Shift.com, an online marketplace for used cars. Minnie started her career as an early product manager at Google. Minnie studied Computer Science at Stanford and has an MBA from HBS. She recently moved back to L.A. after 20+ years in the Bay Area and is excited to be a part of the growing tech ecosystem of Southern California. In her space time, Minnie surfs baby waves and raises baby people.
LA Venture: Emilio Diez Barroso On Why Everyone Isn’t Cut Out To Be A Founder
Photo: provided by LAV

On this episode of the LA Venture podcast, Bold Capital Partner Emilio Diez Barroso talks about his entrepreneurial journey, what led him to become an investor and shares the qualities he looks for when investing in companies.

Bold Capital is a Series A fund that primarily focuses its investments in deep tech and biotech companies. But, like other funds, they make excuses to invest in other companies every now and then.

“We're always interested in things that have the potential to truly transform how things are done and uplift humanity,” he said.

In his experience with investing in early stage startups, Diez Barroso said “humility and vulnerability are assets and qualities in the journey, and you don’t feel like you have to have it all together with your investors.”

Which is why he looks for people who have “this capacity to take full responsibility for how they show up and they have a vision and they have the willingness to go and execute it.”

In addition to his work at Bold Capital, Diez Barroso also runs two family offices which provide him with a surplus of knowledge in the investment space.

“I wear two very different hats,” he said, “and I invest very differently when I'm investing for myself, when I'm investing for my family, and when I'm investing for LP’s.”

But before becoming an investor, Diez Barroso got his entrepreneurial start when he arrived in Los Angeles. He admits that he failed plenty of times because unlike in Mexico, where Diez Barroso grew up, he didn’t have the same access to the contacts or resources of his family business.

“I would say yes to every opportunity that came my way,” he said, “I had started or partnered with someone and co-founded and most of them I had no idea what I was doing, so most of them really failed and a few got lucky enough to succeed.”

After learning how these startups worked and investing his own capital into several companies, he soon realized he was a much better investor than an operator.

“I think we're not all cut out for the journey,” he said, “and I don't think we should all be cut out for that journey. I think that it takes a very different character to start something from scratch.”

Throughout his own journey, Diez Barroso acknowledged that he struggled with his own identity and need to feel like the smartest person in the room. Once he better understood his own motivations, Diez Barroso was able to see that he was chasing the next reward, the next carrot.

“It's fun to close the deal and it's fun to grow the business,” Diez Barroso said. “But what I hadn't been in contact with is how much of my fuel was derived from trying to outrun the idea of not feeling good enough.”

Of course, he’s not alone. “I see a lot of entrepreneurs, activists all across fields and I can tell the difference when they're running from this fuel that is sort of very quick burning because there is an anxiety that oftentimes makes us narrow minded,” Diez Barroso said. “We are so attached to what we think should happen that we leave very little space for the possibilities.”

dot.LA Reporter Decerry Donato contributed to this post.

Click the link above to hear the full episode, and subscribe to LA Venture on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

This podcast is produced by L.A. Venture. The views and opinions expressed in the show are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of dot.LA or its newsroom.

Xos Receives Multi-Million Dollar Order for Armored EVs

David Shultz

David Shultz reports on clean technology and electric vehicles, among other industries, for dot.LA. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Outside, Nautilus and many other publications.

Xos Receives Multi-Million Dollar Order for Armored EVs
The United States transportation sector is rapidly adopting electric vehicle technologies at every level. From aircrafts, to tractor trailers, to sedans and bicycles, no means of locomotion is off limits…even armored trucks.
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