UPDATE: Rivian Value Surges Above $90 Billion — Past Ford, GM In IPO: News

It's slated to be one of the biggest IPOs in history

Rivian R1S
The Amazon and Ford-backed EV startup will make one of the largest IPOs in the past decade. (Images: Rivian)

Rivian will make its initial public offering today.

Update: Rivian’s share prices surged well past the initial $78/share valuation in early trading, and is currently around $100 per share at time of writing.

In what’s easily one of the largest IPOs of the year, EV manufacturer Rivian aims to boost its market value substantially, depending on the stock’s performance. On Tuesday, the company priced its shares at $78, aiming to raise about $11.9 billion from 153 million shares — making it one of the biggest hauls since Facebook (now Meta) went public in 2012.

As of Wednesday morning, however, the rising automaker’s stock is expected to kick off at $115 per share. That would land Rivian’s valuation not in the realm of $66.5 billion (as it would be at $78/share), but around $98 billion, according to a CNBC report.

Rivian’s launch on the stock market (under Nasdaq designation “RIVN”) should be the largest globally this year, and one of the top 12 largest ever, per financial data provider Refinitiv. Thanks in no small part to Tesla, which became the first automaker valued over $1 trillion, electric vehicle stocks are a red hot commodity at the moment. In turn, that’s driving Rivian’s anticipated share value through ever skyward. As governments and automakers both lean harder toward electrified vehicles, as well, the market opportunity is growing — and Rivian’s in a notable position to capitalize on the shift.

Apart from manufacturing vehicles for retail customers, the company also has a long-standing deal with Amazon. The corporation has a 20% stake in Rivian (a figure it revealed in an October 28 filing), as well as an exclusive deal for 100,000 electric vans by 2025. Well before its IPO, it also invested $1.3 billion into the fledgling startup. Ford also holds a 12% stake in Rivian.

Rivian R1T

The company faces a backlog of customer preorders — and a potential image problem.

While Rivian faces a hugely lucrative IPO Wednesday, it still has to produce vehicles in high volumes to keep that surge going. To date, the company’s secured some 55,400 preorders for its R1S SUV and R1T pickup, according to its S-1 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. It plans to deliver those vehicles over the next year, though it has not managed to really ramp up production into high volumes just yet.

Beyond production and logistics, the company is also currently facing a lawsuit from one of its former executives. Laura Schwab, who previously led Aston Martin’s U.S. division and held management positions at Jaguar Land Rover, sued Rivian for discrimination in terminating her employment, as well as what she describes as a “toxic bro culture”. As it’s connected to the company’s IPO, her attorneys posit that firing her was a strategic move, in part meant to cost her “millions of dollars in unvested equity on the eve of the company’s IPO.”