The rise of Rivian from a mostly unheard of scrappy EV startup to the darling of the electric vehicle world — is quite frankly — astounding. Rivian deserves most of the credit for its early success, with the highly-regarded R1T electric truck and R1S electric SUV. However, this success may not have been possible without a helping hand from two very large and iconic companies: Amazon and Ford. Both companies have an ownership stake in Rivian.
Ford and Amazon: Minority owners of Rivian
Does Amazon or Ford own Rivian? In part, yes, but not completely. In the corporate world, there’s something called a “minority ownership stake,” which means a person or company that owns less than 50% of another company.
In the case of Amazon and Ford, they both own 5% of Rivian. While that may not seem like much — when you’re talking about a company that’s worth billions of dollars, that infusion of capital carries a great deal of weight. Also, the ownership stake may grow even higher as Rivian approaches its upcoming stock IPO. Furthermore, that investment, especially from Amazon, was a catalyst for additional investment from companies like Fidelity, T. Rowe Price, and D1 Capital Partners.
Additionally, the investment from Amazon and Ford provided instant credibility to Rivian. When companies as large as Amazon and Ford have a significant ownership stake in a startup like Rivian, people take notice.
Rivian Amazon Prime delivery vans
Not only does Amazon partially own Rivian, but it’s also the EV automaker’s biggest customer. Rivian has a contract to build 100,000 electric Rivian Amazon Prime delivery vans by the end of the decade, with a planned 10,000 vans delivered by the end of this year.
The contract for the Rivian Amazon Prime delivery van is likely even more impactful than the Amazon ownership stake. PitchBook analysts estimate that the delivery van order is worth $4.5 billion. Furthermore, the Amazon order could be a catalyst for orders from other companies that want an electric Rivian fleet vehicle. The Amazon order is so crucial to the success of Rivian that the EV automaker prioritizes the production of the Rivian Amazon Prime delivery vans over the production of the R1T and R1S.
Why does Ford partially own Rivian?
The motivation behind Ford’s 5% ownership stake in Rivian is unclear. Electric trucks are the next big thing for EVs. Given the fact that the Ford F-150 is the best-selling vehicle in the country, the all-electric F-150 Lightning is expected to be a major success.
However, now, Ford is a part-owner of the company that produces the R1T, one of the biggest competitors of the F-150 Lightning. Adding to the intrigue, Rivian beat Ford and other automakers like Tesla (Cybertruck) and GMC (Hummer EV Pickup) to the punch. It’s the first car company to deliver an electric truck to customers.
Be a part-owner of Rivian and buy some Rivian stock
You can also be a part-owner of Rivian by buying Rivian stock. The EV automaker will soon have its stock IPO, with a projected valuation of $80 billion. Rivian will “sell 135 million shares at a price range of between $57 and $62 each,” according to Reuters.
Unless you’re a multi-billionaire, you won’t be able to get the same percentage of ownership stake as Amazon and Ford. However, you can at least buy some Rivian stock, and if fortunate, you could get a decent return on your investment.