And, less directly, to that fanboy’s archnemesis Elon Musk.
The Rivian shuttles during the widely publicized event were, of course, strategic product placement by Bezos for his handpicked contender to take on Tesla. At the time, Rivian was still a private company with no actual products on the market. But Amazon had made a big bet on Rivian in 2019, taking a 20% stake in the company. The famously (or notoriously) calculating Bezos was bringing two of his pet projects — Blue Origin and Rivian — onto the global stage at the same time.
The cherry on top: It was also a big middle finger to Musk.
So far, all of Blue Origin’s efforts to fight NASA’s decision have fallen flat.
But Rivian’s blockbuster IPO — the strongest debut by a US company since Facebook listed its shares in 2012 — gives Bezos something of a win in the ongoing proxy battle he’s fighting with Musk.
Whether Rivian can live up to the hype is anyone’s guess. For an investor, it’s a comfort to know that Rivian has the backing of someone with pockets as deep and grudges as bitter as Bezos’.
Investing is always risky. But one thing we can count on is that uber-rich men will literally buy entire companies to spite their enemies rather than go to therapy.