Ex-Tesla CIO's Auto Tech Startup Tekion Becomes a Unicorn in Under 4 Yrs

Founded by Chennai-born entrepreneur Jay Vijayan, Tekion has raised USD 150 million in Series C funding round at a valuation of over USD 1 billion

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Founded by former Tesla CIO Jay Vijayan, Tekion has raised USD 150 million in Series C funding round at a valuation of over USD 1 billion to become one of the youngest unicorns.


The funding round was led by global private equity firm Advent, along with participation from Index Ventures, Exor, the holding company of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Ferrari, Airbus Ventures and FM Capital.

Founded in 2016, Tekion is a cloud technology company focused on the automotive industry. The company claims to bring consumer, dealer and OEM (original equipment manufacturer) together on its cloud-native platform and connects the entire automotive retail journey through its comprehensive Automotive Retail Cloud.

The company uses technologies like IoT and machine learning to bring modern consumer experiences to life.

“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?” said CEO Vijayan in a press 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.” 

Chennai-born Vijayan in his four year stint at Tesla was responsible for building the entire digital and information technology systems ground-up. He is currently based out of U.S and headquartered Tekion is San Ramon.

Bengaluru is the APAC headquarter of the company with a development center in Chennai.

Tekion plans to use the fresh capital to support additional investment in its platform and scaling the company.

Commenting on the deal, Eric Wei, MD - technology investment team, Palo Alto, Advent said “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.”

The company had raised USD65 million in equity financing from Storm Ventures, General Motors (GM), Alliance Ventures (Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi), BMW iVentures, Exor and AME Cloud Ventures.

Shipra Singh

Written By

Entrepreneur Staff

Now a freelance journalist, ealier steered the Wealth section on the Entrepreneur website, covering everything finance. Previously a personal finance reporter at The Economic Times and Outlook Money.