October 27, 2020, 3:58 am

Bay Area automotive unicorn Tekion is invented by Tesla

By Prashant Tambe

A former member of Tesla’s executive team who’s been making his own push in the automotive industry, is now watching the funding roll in to his company.

In fact, former Tesla Chief Information Officer Jay Vijayan, who left Elon Musk’s company to start San Ramon-based auto retail SaaS platform Tekion in 2016, is now at the wheel of a bonafide unicorn as its CEO.

Tekion announced Wednesday that it has just raised $150 million in Series C funding, bringing its current valuation to more than $1 billion. The funding round was led by Advent International, with participation from San Francisco-based Index Ventures, Exor, Airbus Ventures and FM Capital.

The company said the fresh capital will support additional investment in its platform as well as scaling the company, which employs about 300 people.

Prior to the latest funding round, Tekion had raised $65 million in equity financing from investors including Index Ventures, General Motors (GM), Alliance Ventures (Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi), BMW iVentures, Exor, AME Cloud Ventures as wells as with many dealer groups.

The company offers an end-to-end dealer management system with its Automotive Retail Cloud (ARC) platform, which provides connectivity between vehicle manufacturers, dealers and car buyers. Tekion also provides Open APIs and gives dealers access to their data to glean insights for their customers.

“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?” Vijayan said in a statement. “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.”

Vijayan earned his M.S. at the University of Madras in India before joining Oracle in 2000 as a senior manager of application development. In 2007, he left for VMware to take a position as senior director of IT enterprise applications and then joined Tesla in 2012 as its CIO.

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Prashant Tambe

An expert in SEO, Prashant carries an experience of over five years in the industry. He has the ability to analyze global industry trends that helps the leaders to make smarter decisions. An electrical, electronics and communication engineer, Prashant is able to predict future trends as they are changing fast with technological development.

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