Anyone who has been to a car dealership knows that buying a car can be a lengthy and often frustrating experience. One of the main reasons it’s so painful is that sales staff often have to wade through a smorgasbord of different software applications for things such as processing loans and recording ownership changes, many of which don’t work smoothly together.
During a four-year stint as CIO of Tesla, Jay Vijayan helped create the company’s own software platform for sales to deliver a seamless experience for its customers. After leaving, he founded Tekion in 2016 to build a cloud-based product that many different dealerships can use to do the same thing. Although Vijayan’s entrepreneurial journey hasn’t always been smooth, he’s won over investors to his vision: On October 21 Tekion announced a $150 million Series C round, bringing the total it has raised to $215 million and lifting its valuation to over $1 billion.
The round, which was led by private equity firm Advent International with participation from Index Ventures, Airbus Ventures and Exor (the holding company of Fiat Chrysler and Ferrari), will help Tekion speed up the roll out of its automotive cloud system in the U.S. The company also