Mayank Sikaria, 32
Chief technology officer, Sibros
Editor's note: Mayank Sikaria and Sibros CEO Hemant Sikaria are cousins. An earlier version of this story misstated their relationship.
Big break: Serving in a variety of roles at Faraday Future during the company’s formative stages
Growing up in India, Mayank Sikaria dreamed of a career in the auto industry. But first, he dreamed of owning a car. As he played with a Hot Wheels collection of more than 500 cars, he would watch his dad, Kamal, depart for work on a scooter, because that’s the vehicle his family could afford.
“He was starting his own business, and we were not well off,” Sikaria said.
The automotive dream never wavered, even as he attended high school and after receiving a pacemaker at age 17 to treat a heart condition. He graduated from the University of California, Davis, with an electrical engineering degree in 2012. After working four years working in semiconductor and electrical hardware design, he finally found an automotive foothold.
Sikaria joined Faraday Future right as the startup sought to make a splash in the fledgling EV market. He started as a software engineer, and quickly took on more responsibility for the software behind battery management systems. Along the way, he patented his innovations on using field programmable gate arrays, a type of integrated circuit, for battery simulation models. “I was learning at an exponential rate,” he said.
But when job opportunities at big automakers and suppliers arose, Sikaria hesitated. During his work at Faraday, he realized how far behind many of the traditional car companies and Tier 1 suppliers were in software development. He and his Faraday Future team, he said, could finish in a week what others said would take months.
His entrepreneurial roots took hold. Along with his cousin Hemant, a former Tesla engineer, Mayank co-founded Sibros in 2018.
The company offers over-the-air software updates, data insight and analytics and diagnostic services from a single connected-vehicle platform, much of which can reduce recalls. To date, the company has raised $15.5 million, according to Crunchbase records, and says it is working with multiple global automakers.
For Sikaria, the startup’s platform represents a chance to help more than one automaker or vehicle and make a broader transportation impact. “That would not be possible at a single OEM,” he said.
“I want to have my contributions in vehicle platforms, so I can look at a car and tell my family, “That Ford? That Volkswagen? That Sono? That car has my solution.’ That’s one motivation.”
Sibros’ technology also works with buses, motorcycles and scooters. In fact, it is now aboard electric scooters made by the same company that produced the one his dad used to ride to work.
“To put our solution on that and do a deployment, with me leading that effort, that brings a lot of pride for me and my family,” he said. “That’s truly been the most rewarding thing.”
— Pete Bigelow