Tekion, a tech startup founded by former Tesla CIO, raises $150M Series C to disrupt automotive retail; led by Advent at $1 billion+ valuation
For decades, the automotive industry has largely been operating on a legacy retail model. The sales and the distribution model have largely been the same since the 1980s with little change taking place despite the technology revolution in other industries. The time for disruption is now and one Silicon Valley tech startup is leading the change.
Enter Tekion, a cloud technology startup founded by former Tesla CIO Jay Vijayan. Tekion modernizes automotive retail, enables seamless consumer experiences and high operational efficiencies for dealership operations. Tekion’s Automotive Retail Cloud addresses the top pain points OEMs and dealers have been living with for decades. It is the first end-to-end cloud-native platform that brings every part of the retail journey in one seamless application
Today, Tekion announced it has raised $150 million in a Series C financing round at over a $1 billion valuation. The funding round was led by Advent International (“Advent”), one of the largest and most experienced global private equity investors, with participation from Index Ventures, Exor (the holding company of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Ferrari), Airbus Ventures, and FM Capital. Other backers include the Automotive industry include General Motors, BMW iVentures, and Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi Alliance Ventures.
Founded in 2016, Tekion’s cloud-native platform brings the entire consumer, Dealer and OEM ecosystem together by seamlessly connecting every part of the automotive retail journey through its comprehensive Automotive Retail Cloud. Tekion inherently uses cutting-edge technologies to bring modern consumer experiences to life including IoT and ML/AI. Born in California’s Silicon Valley, Tekion employs over 450 innovators globally
“Today’s consumers receive outstanding personalized retail experiences from companies like Amazon, Apple, Google, and Disney. Why shouldn’t they expect the same in their vehicle acquisition and service needs? We believe Tekion will be the trailblazer for enabling the modernization of the entire consumer journey and providing the best experiences and operational efficiencies, period. It’s time to even the playing field for the automotive retail industry.” said Jay Vijayan, CEO of Tekion. “We are fortunate and proud to be supported by great investors from the world’s top OEM brands, top dealers in the country, venture and private equity firms. We consider this as true validation of the value we are bringing to the industry. We are thrilled to welcome Advent as we scale our business, expand our products and transform what the auto retail experience should be.”
Tekion started on-boarding dealers on its Automotive Retail Cloud platform in Q3 2019 and is growing rapidly nationwide by partnering with manufacturers and dealers of all sizes. Tekion proudly counts some of the country’s most influential dealer groups as its dealer partners in 28 states and growing across the country. Tekion’s Automotive Retail Cloud already integrates with 17 OEM brands and the company is targeting to complete the remaining OEM integrations in early 2021.
“Tekion is the true disrupter the industry has been waiting on for decades,” said Joe Serra, President, Serra Automotive Inc., who owns 50 dealerships representing 62 franchises spread across the country. “I’m very impressed with their modern DMS platform and their awesome team. I’m so convinced that their technology and vision will transform automotive retail for consumers, dealers, and manufacturers that I wanted to be a part of the change by investing in the company.”
“The automotive retail and dealer technology ecosystem are ripe for disruption. It has operated for too long with outdated technology and patchwork systems that fail to meet the needs of modern dealers and their customers,” said Eric Wei, a Managing Director on Advent’s technology investment team in Palo Alto. “From the moment we started talking to Tekion’s dealers, we were blown away by the ease and speed of the migration process, especially from the multiple dealers who transitioned in one month’s time, entirely remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their dealer-friendly approach to contract terms and data ownership will be a breath of fresh air for dealers. We are incredibly excited about the platform and the size of the opportunity.”