Rivian prices IPO at $78 a share, valuing electric vehicle company at $66.5 billion


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R.J. Scaringe, Rivian’s 35-year-old CEO, introduces his company’s R1T all-electric pickup and all-electric R1S SUV at Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California, November 27, 2018.
Mike Blake | Reuters

Rivian Automotive, the electric vehicle maker backed by Amazon and Ford, priced its IPO on Tuesday at $78 a share, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be named because the sale hasn’t been announced yet. The deal values Rivian at $66.5 billion.

Should underwriters exercise their full purchase option, the company will have a market cap of over $68 billion. The stock will trade on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol RIVN.

Reuters and the Wall Street Journal reported on the IPO price earlier. A Rivian spokesperson declined to comment.

Last week, Rivian increased the expected price range to between $72 and $74 from a previous range of $57 to $62. At its $78 offer price, Rivian is already worth almost as much as Ford ($79 billion) and General Motors ($85 billion). That’s all before the company has even started generating real revenue.

Rivian said in its prospectus that it will lose up to $1.28 billion in the third quarter, while revenue will range from zero to $1 million. It’s the latest EV company to attract hefty investor capital at a stratospheric price without yet proving that it has a sustainable business model.

Lucid Motors is worth $72.5 billion even though the company just began production of its first cars. Nikola’s market cap was higher than Ford’s at one point last year, despite the company having no revenue. It’s now worth less than $6 billion, after a short-selling firm accused the company of making “an Ocean of Lies.”

Investors are continuously trying to hop on the next Tesla. Elon Musk’s company topped $1 trillion in market value last month and is now the fifth most-valuable U.S. company.

While Rivian is still effectively pre-revenue, the company said in its prospectus that it has a backlog of 55,400 pre-orders for its R1T and R1S electric vehicles. The R1T is a truck that starts at $67,500, and the R1S is an SUV starting at $70,000, according to Rivian’s website.

The company said it expects to fill those orders by the end of 2023. Additionally, Amazon has ordered 100,000 vehicles to be delivered by Rivian by 2030, and the companies plan to have 10,000 new Rivian-Amazon delivery vehicles on the road as early as next year. Amazon is pushing its fleet to renewable energy sources, and said in 2019 that it was purchasing thousands of vehicles from Rivian.

Amazon, which invested more than $1.3 billion into Rivian, owned 22.4% of the company’s Class A shares prior to the IPO. That stake is worth about $12.5 billion at the offer price. Ford owned 14.4% of Class A stock before the offering, a stake now valued at $8 billion.

Rivian says its factory in Illinois has the capacity to produce up to 150,000 vehicles per year. The company had over 6,000 employees as of the end of June.

— CNBC’s Lora Kolodny and Annie Palmer contributed to this report

WATCH: Should you believe the Rivian hype?

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