Ford’s investment is about to pay off. Big time.

Last month, electric vehicle company Rivian announced yet another significant investment, led by T. Rowe Price. This followed the $2.5 billion investment it landed in a separate investment round in 2020, and nearly $1.3 billion a year before thanks to Ford and Amazon, with $500 million and $700 million investments, respectively. All told, Rivian has raised over $8 billion since early 2019. And now it appears those investors are about to see some potentially big returns.

According to Bloomberg, Rivian wants to go public as soon as this September with at least a $50 billion valuation. Only last month Rivian was valued at $27.6 billion.

Because discussions are still actively taking place between Rivian and bankers, the IPO’s date is not set in stone and could possibly be pushed to 2022. This valuation would make Rivian one of the biggest IPOs of the year and, equally important, one of the most significant EV automaker listings since that of Tesla in 2010. Today, Tesla is the world’s most valuable automaker with a nearly $850 billion valuation.

Rivian’s potential $50 billion IPO would far surpass those of other EV startups who issued IPOs in the past year, including Chinese brands Li Auto ($1.26 billion) and Xpeng Motors ($1.5 billion). Ohio-based Lordstown Motors went public last October following a merger agreement with a DiamondPeak Holdings Group, a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC.

The SPAC approach has become common for startup EV automakers because it avoids a traditional IPO process, which is often lengthy and complex. A SPAC agreement is with just one company and the valuation is known in advance. Rivian is unlikely to be taking the SPAC track because it doesn’t need to; it has enough financial strength to pursue a regular IPO.

Before this will happen, deliveries of the Rivian R1T and R1S will get underway in June. The Launch Editions, priced at $75,000 and $77,500, respectively, took only a week to sell out. Last week, the first of 100,000 Amazon delivery vans built by Rivian began making deliveries in Los Angeles.

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