Rivian Automotive Inc. rose 29% in its trading debut before giving up some of that gain, putting the electric truck maker’s market value on par with General Motors Co.’s and topping those of Ford Motor Co. and EV rival Lucid Group Inc.
Shares of Rivian opened trading Wednesday at $106.75 each after selling for $78 in its initial public offering, which exceeded the Irvine, California-based company’s goals to raise almost $12 billion.
Rivian, whose market value briefly touched $104 billion, closed at $100.73 in New York trading, valuing it at about $88 billion. On a fully diluted basis, including options and restricted stock units, Rivian is valued at about $98 billion.
Backed by deep-pocketed companies such as Amazon.com Inc. and Ford, Rivian sold 153 million shares Tuesday after marketing 135 million for $72 to $74, a range it had earlier elevated from $57 to $62.
The listing is the biggest globally this year, and the sixth-largest ever on a U.S. exchange, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Rivian is hitting the public markets as it looks to make a dent in the electric vehicle market led by Tesla Inc., which has a market value of more than $1 trillion.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer R.J. Scaringe said in a Bloomberg TV interview Wednesday that Rivian’s biggest challenge is the “health of the supply chain” as it ramps up production amid parts shortages.
The company’s valuation reflects the company’s ability to scale quickly and its plan to build commercial vehicles, Scaringe said. That starts with 100,000 battery-electric delivery vans for Amazon, which Scaringe described as an “initial order.”
In addition to consumer EVs, Tesla has also built out a strong and growing energy-storage business including solar, home and commercial energy storage. Scaringe indicated that Rivian is looking at expanding in similar lines of business.
“For us, it’s a question of how do we, as rapidly as possible, transition ourselves away from a fossil-fuel based economy?” Scaringe said. “And that of course has a huge focus on the transportation products. But it also includes energy products. And this is something that we will certainly get into as we really try to accelerate that.”
Just a couple of months ago, Rivian delivered its first vehicles, mostly to its own employees. It will only produce about 1,200 units by year-end at its plant in Normal, Illinois. The company, which lost almost $1 billion in the first half of the year, estimates that annual production will hit 150,000 vehicles at its main facility by late 2023.
Rivian’s IPO was led by Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase Co., with more than 20 banks listed on the cover page of its prospectus. Rivian shares are trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol RIVN.