[Funding alert] Ex-Tesla CIO founded Tekion enters the unicorn club with $150M Series C round

Headquartered in the US with development centres in India, Tekion received a funding of $150 million led by Advent International. It is the latest entrant to the unicorn club.

Tekion, an automotive industry-focused technology startup founded by Jay Vijayan, the former CIO of Tesla, has entered the unicorn club with its latest Series C funding round.

Headquartered in the US with development centres in India, Tekion received a funding of $150 million led by Advent International, at a valuation in excess of $1 billion, according to a press statement.

Index Ventures, Exor - the holding company of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Ferrari, Airbus Ventures, and FM Capital also participated in this round.

Founded in 2016, Tekion had raised $65 million prior to the current round. Its other key investors include General Motors, BMW iVentures, and Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi Alliance Ventures.

“Today’s consumers receive outstanding personalised 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 modernisation 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.

Tekion's entry into the unicorn club adds to the growing number of Indian startups or those with strong Indian connection in terms of development centres, who enjoy a valuation in excess of $1 billion.

This year, Postman, Pine Labs, Unacademy, Nykaa, Zerodha, FirstCry, and Razorpay also made it to the famed unicorn club.

Speaking on the investment, Eric Wei, Managing Director, Advent, said, “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.”

Tekion launched its first product in the third quarter of 2019, targeted at automobile dealers in North America. The SaaS-based technology platform connects dealers, car owners, and manufacturers to provide end-to-end services, delivered through the cloud.

Its flagship product — Automotive Retail Cloud — already integrates with 17 OEM brands, and is targeting to complete the remaining OEM integrations as early as 2021.

The latest funding will be used by Tekion to make additional investment in its platform, and scale the operations of the startup.

It has around 450 employees with offices spread across globally. In India, it is present in Chennai and Bengaluru.

Edited by Suman Singh