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How Rivian – which is getting ready for a blockbuster IPO – became the hottest name in the electric startup game

Business
Rivian R1T
  • Rivian started delivering its debut vehicle, the R1T electric pickup truck, in September.
  • The startup is also getting ready for an IPO.
  • Experts consider Rivian the most promising contender among today’s EV startups.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A new generation of electric-vehicle startups has started to give US consumers their first new automotive brands to choose from since Tesla debuted in 2008. The first one to arrive was Rivian, which started delivering its R1T pickup truck in September.

The vehicle has generated positive first impressions, including from Insider’s Tim Levin, who wrote that the R1T “completely flips the script on what a pickup can be” after driving it. Whether customers have a similar impression remains to be seen, but the company has put itself in a strong position to take on the many challenges that come with starting an automaker.

Rivian has raised more money than any of its rivals, landed an investment and delivery-van order from Amazon, and is preparing for an IPO next week. The company is aiming for a valuation of around $55 billion, many times larger than the $2 billion valuation Tesla received during its 2010 IPO.

Read on to learn more about the R1T, why investors and experts think Rivian’s the top contender among today’s generation of EV startups, and what you can do to position yourself to land a job there.

CEO RJ Scaringe has been compared to Jeff Bezos

RJ Scaringe

Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe founded the startup in 2009 when he was 26. He first intended to build an electric sports car to take on Tesla’s Roadster, but changed his mind a few years later. After spending most of the 2010s revamping the company, Scaringe reintroduced Rivian in 2018. Now, Scaringe is a billionaire who’s been compared to Jeff Bezos and legendary General Motors CEO Alfred Sloan. The coming years will determine whether he can become a serious challenger to Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Investors have poured $11 billion into the company

rivian r1s
Rivian R1S.

Rivian has so far raised $11 billion, according to Pitchbook, a sum no other EV startup has matched. Last year, Insider surveyed some of Rivian’s investors to learn why they decided to back the company. They explained what made Rivian stand out from its competitors.

Experts think Rivian is the real deal

RJ Scaringe

Tesla’s success and government regulations aimed at reducing carbon emissions have put EVs, which accounted for just 2% of US auto sales in 2020, on the path to mainstream adoption. Entrepreneurs have taken notice, and a new group of EV startups is attempting to break into the intensely competitive US auto industry in the coming years. A consensus has developed among EV experts that Rivian is in the best position to succeed.

Rivian hiring execs share their advice to applicants hoping for a job offer

Rivian R1T

The hype around Rivian has made the company an appealing destination for those who want to work in the EV industry. Insider interviewed Rivian’s top hiring executives in 2020 about what they look for in job candidates. They shared their advice for applicants and the red flags that will hurt your chances of landing an offer.

Growing pains

Rivian R1S

Launching a new vehicle is hard, particularly if it’s your first attempt. Rivian, like some of its competitors, is beginning to experience some of those challenges firsthand. This summer, the company delayed the launch of the R1T, citing “the cascading impacts of the pandemic.” From navigating supply-chain disruptions to convincing state governments to revise laws that prevent automakers from selling directly to consumers, Rivian has its work cut out for it in the coming months and years.

Early praise for the R1T

Rivian R1T.
Rivian R1T.

Rivian started producing the R1T in September, and early impressions of the vehicle have been positive. Insider’s Tim Levin drove the R1T for a few days in September and called the vehicle “groundbreaking.” You can read more about his impressions below.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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