Advent Leads $150M Series C in Tekion at $1B+ Valuation, Funding Disruption in Automotive Retail

·6-min read

Tekion, founded by former Tesla CIO and experienced technology leader Jay Vijayan, modernizes automotive retail, enables seamless consumer experiences and high operational efficiencies for dealership operations.

Tekion, a cloud technology company and provider of SaaS retail operating platform (aka DMS), Automotive Retail Cloud, today 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.

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Tekion transforms what the auto retail experience should be. (Photo: Business Wire).

"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."

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 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."

Joe 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.

ABOUT TEKION

Founded in 2016, Tekion provides the world’s best business applications on the cloud and is currently focused on transforming the automotive industry. Its cloud-native platform brings the entire consumer, Dealer and OEM ecosystem together by seamlessly connecting every part of the automotive retail journey through its comprehensive Automotive Retail Cloud. Tekion inherently uses cutting-edge technologies to bring modern consumer experiences to life including IoT and ML/AI. Born in California’s Silicon Valley, Tekion employs over 450 innovators globally. For more information visit https://www.tekion.com.

ABOUT ADVENT INTERNATIONAL

Founded in 1984, Advent International is one of the largest and most experienced global private equity investors. The firm has invested in over 350 private equity transactions in 41 countries, and as of June 30, 2020, had $58.4 billion in assets under management. With 15 offices in 12 countries, Advent has established a globally integrated team of over 200 investment professionals across North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia. The firm focuses on investments in five core sectors, including business and financial services; health care; industrial; retail, consumer and leisure; and technology. After 35 years dedicated to international investing, Advent remains committed to partnering with management teams to deliver sustained revenue and earnings growth for its portfolio companies.

For more information, visit

Website: www.adventinternational.com

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/advent-international

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Contacts

Tekion
Marylou Hastert
press@tekion.com

Advent International
Kerry Golds or Anna Epstein
Finsbury
Tel: +1 646 805 2000
Adventinternational-US@finsbury.com