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Rivian's R1T pickup. Photo: Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Electric vehicle company Rivian announced Friday the close of a $2.5 billion funding round.

Why it matters: It's another sign that the Michigan-based company is very well-positioned among the suite of electric vehicle startups with vehicles heading to the market.

  • The company is planning to soon launch production of an electric SUV and pickup, and also has a deal with Amazon to make a large fleet of electric delivery vehicles.

Driving the news: The funding was led by "funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc," Rivian said.

  • Backers include Soros Fund Management LLC, Coatue, Fidelity Management and Research Company, and Baron Capital Group, Rivian said.
  • Existing shareholders Amazon and BlackRock-managed funds also took part.

What’s next: Rivian plans to launch production of its R1T pickup, R1S SUV and the vehicles for Amazon next year at its manufacturing plant in Normal, Illinois.

  • Amazon plans to buy 100,000 delivery vehicles from Rivian and hopes to have 10,000 operating as soon as 2022.

The bottom line, via Axios transportation reporter Joann Muller: Rivian is biting off an extraordinary series of manufacturing challenges all at once for a startup that has never built a vehicle. Even experienced automakers struggle to launch new vehicles smoothly.

Go deeper

Oct 9, 2020 - Economy & Business

Trucking into the hydrogen era

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

After years of unmet promises, hydrogen vehicles could finally be catching on. If so, it'll be a convoy of clean semi-trucks — not a bunch of quirky passenger cars — leading the way.

The big picture: We've been hearing about zero-emission, fuel-cell vehicles for decades as the answer to our worries about fossil fuels and climate change. But even now, the economic and practical challenges are still too difficult to overcome — except, perhaps, for commercial truck fleets.

Updated 1 hour ago - World

In photos: Pope Francis spreads message of peace on first trip to Iraq

Iraqis dressed in traditional outfits greet Pope Francis upon his arrival at Erbil airport, the capital of the northern Iraqi Kurdish autonomous region, on March 7. Photo: Safin Hamed/AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis was on Sunday visiting northern areas of Iraq once held by Islamic State militants.

Why it matters: This is the first-ever papal trip to Iraq. The purpose of Francis' four-day visit is largely intended to reassure the country's Christian minority, who were violently persecuted by ISIS, which controlled the region from 2014-2017.

Cuomo faces fresh misconduct allegations from former aides

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a February press conference in New York City. Photo: Seth Wenig/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The office of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) was on Saturday facing fresh accusations of misconduct against his staff, including further allegations of inappropriate behavior against two more women. His office denies the claims.

Driving the news: The Washington Post reported Cuomo allegedly embraced an aide when he led the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and that two male staffers who worked for him in the governor's office accused him of routinely berating them "with explicit language."