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12 Feb, 2022 08:25

Soros buys stake in ‘Tesla killer’ startup

The Amazon-backed electric carmaker has yet to produce a consumer vehicle
Soros buys stake in ‘Tesla killer’ startup

Billionaire investor George Soros bought nearly 20 million shares of electric truck startup Rivian, according to securities filings released on Friday. The shares were worth roughly $2 billion at the time of purchase, making Soros Fund Management one of the firm’s largest investors.

Rivian, which is 20% owned by e-commerce giant Amazon, was a hit with investors last fall, when it raised $12 billion in its IPO, becoming the largest market debut of 2021.

However, the startup has not yet produced a consumer vehicle. As of December 2021, the carmaker has reportedly delivered just 150 of its electric R1T pickup trucks and only two electric SUVs, the R1S, to customers (mostly employees) with little revenue to report. It is hard to tell when non-employee customers will receive their Rivian cars, but the automaker began notifying non-affiliated reservation holders about when they could expect their vehicles in September last year. In a Rivian Owners forum poll, reservation holders said their R1S delivery dates are between June and September of 2022, while the majority of R1T respondents put down deliveries from March to June.

Rivian was due to provide Amazon with more than 100,000 electric trucks last year, but said in December it expected production to fall “a few hundred vehicles short” amid supply chain constraints.

Apparently due to the failure to deliver on its promises so far, Rivian saw shares drop 43% for the year to date on Friday. The carmaker’s stock price is currently down 67% from the high of $179.46 it reached a week after its IPO debut.

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