Tekion, a cloud technology company and provider of SaaS retail operating platform (aka DMS), Automotive Retail Cloud, announced its Series C financing round of $150 million 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 (a fund that includes a large number of top 100 dealers in the country as its limited partners). Tekion’s other key investors from the automotive industry include General Motors, BMW iVentures and Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi Alliance Ventures.
“Today’s consumers receive outstanding personalized retail experiences from companies like Amazon, Apple, Google and Disney,” said Jay Vijayan, CEO of Tekion. “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. 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 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.”
Serra is also an investor in Tekion’s series C round.
Funding Disruption in Auto Buying and Servicing
Advent’s investment will provide Tekion with fresh capital to support additional investment in its platform and scaling 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.”
Additional perspective on Advent’s investment in Tekion can be viewed here.
“We believe Tekion’s cloud-native technology, which simplifies sales and service for both consumers and dealership employees, has the potential to transform the automobile ownership experience,” said Mark Norman, managing partner at FM Capital.
Prior to Advent’s investment, Tekion had raised $65 million in equity financing from investors including Index Ventures, Storm Ventures, General Motors (GM), Alliance Ventures (Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi), BMW iVentures, Exor, AME Cloud Ventures, alongside many dealer groups.
Former President of Tesla Joins Forces
Jon McNeill, Advent Advisory Partner, former chief operating officer of Lyft Inc. and former president of global sales, marketing, delivery and service at Tesla joins Tekion’s Board of Directors with Eric Wei of Advent.
Automotive Retail, Reimagined
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. In addition to advanced analytics, Tekion provides Open APIs and gives dealers access to their data to glean valuable insights to help improve processes and experiences for their customers. Tekion also provides enterprise scale capability for larger dealer groups, with features such as centralized accounting and a highly secure data repository with the ability to access data from anywhere. Billing is fair and flexible, honoring 30-day cancellation notices, zero integration costs and much more.
Dealers leveraging Tekion not only digitize their operations with the most modern end-to-end technology platform, but also take advantage of efficiency improvements, cost savings and new revenue generating opportunities enabled by Tekion’s machine learning and artificial intelligence engine.
Dealer testimonials can be viewed at: https://www.tekion.com/testimonials.