Before the commercial release of Rivians’ electric vehicles (EV) this year, Amazon has returned to back the company in a round valuing it at $27.6bn. The EV space is among the hottest in the automotive business and valuations have remained high despite the cyclical nature of demand for vehicles.

US-based electric truck developer Rivian secured $2.65bn from a host of investors including e-commerce and cloud computing group Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund. The round was led by funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price and also included investment and financial services groups Fidelity, Coatue, D1 Capital Partners, among other backers. The round reportedly valued Rivian at $27.6bn valuation.

Founded in 2009, Rivian is working on an electric pick-up truck called the R1T which is slated for commercial release in June 2021, and an electric sports utility vehicle dubbed R1S, which would be due for release two months later. The company will produce the vehicles at a custom manufacturing plant in the state of Illinois.

The EV tech space has been one of the most dynamic and watched ones on the innovation scene over the past few years. As such, it has not escaped the radar of corporate venture investors, as the GCV Analytics bar chart below shows. The number of corporate-backed deals in pure-play EV businesses has remained relatively stable from 2017 onward, reaching 30 by the end of last year. The total estimated capital in those rounds has been also on an upward trend, reaching over $6.12bn last year despite the pandemic, lockdowns and general reduction of consumer demand for vehicles owing to the economic downturn. Such high valuations can be only explained away by the disruptive potential of the technology and its positive potential environmental impact.