Jay Vijayan, founder and CEO of Tekion

Tekion, a San Francisco-based cloud tech startup, has raised $150 million as part of its Series C funding round led by private equity firm Advent International, with participation from Index Ventures, Exor (the holding company of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Ferrari), Airbus Ventures and FM Capital (a fund that includes a large number of top 100 dealers in the country as it’s limited partners). Tekion’s other key investors from the Automotive industry include General Motors, BMW iVentures, and Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi Alliance Ventures.

On Wednesday, Tekion announced a $150 million Series C round, bringing the total it has raised to $215 million and lifting its valuation to over $1 billion.

Founded in 2016 by Jay (Jayaprakash) Vijayan, who is the former Chief Information Officer (CIO) for Tesla Inc., Tekion is a cloud tech firm and provider of SaaS retail operating platform (aka DMS) that uses Big data, the Internet of Things (IoT), and ML/AI for the automotive retail industry. 

Vijayan was raised in Chennai, India and received education at AVM Matriculation, Avichi Higher Secondary Schools and later received a Bachelor of Science and then Master of Science degrees from the University of Madras in Chennai, India.

Vijayan was the CIO of Tesla for over 4 years, reporting to Elon Musk, as mentioned his Wikipedia page. Vijayan lead the development, implementation and Transformation of Tesla's Digital strategy, Information Systems and Infrastructure platform during the period of critical growth and ramp-up phase of the company.

The company's personalized machine learning algorithms give automobile dealers an edge to sell more and provide the best experiences while saving money and improving customer loyalty.

The startup has earlier raised $22 Mn in fundraise led by BMW iVentures and include participation from Airbus Ventures and Alliance Ventures, the strategic venture capital fund of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi. Prior to that, the startup had raised $10 Mn in finding led by Index Ventures. In March 2016, the startup raised $3.1 Mn in seed funding led by Storm Ventures.

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 US 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.

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", Vijayan said.

“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.”

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