Insurance Zebra Raises $1.5 Million
Insurance Zebra is a startup company that aggregates car insurance quotes similar to way that Kayak lists aggregate flights and hotel deals. The company was based in Pittsburgh, but then relocated to Austin, Texas. The company has raised $1.5 million in seed funding led by Silverton Partners. Mark Cuban, Floodgate, and Birchmere Labs also participated in this round.
Insurance Zebra founder and CEO Adam Lyons worked in the car insurance industry on the underwriting and brokerage side of things.
“If you look at the travel industry a while back, it used to be that you had to go to your travel agent or call the airlines directly, and now there’s all these sites like Orbitz and Kayak. That’s a really similar state to where the auto insurance industry is in the U.S. – you either need to call your insurance agent or call the guy you saw on TV,” stated Lyons.
The goal of Insurance Zebra is to simplify the process of shopping and buying insurance online. Most people do not have the time to properly research what their auto insurance includes based on their bills. They do not really understand what factors make the insurance rates go up or down either. Insurance Zebra will offer real-time quotes and helps users visualize how rates change as they fill out the online form. The online form starts with only a zip code and car type. As consumers input more data into the form, the quotes will become more accurate.
Insurance Zebra has partnership agreements with 10 major insurance companies. The companies are interested in working with Insurance Zebra because of the volume that can be generated.
“While they like the way that we’re bringing transparency to the consumer, at the same time, we help insurance companies get the risks they prefer,” added Lyons in an interview with TechCrunch. “The real reason why your rate is different with every company is because different companies prefer different risks.”
Insurance Zebra has 5 employees and some executives from the car insurance industry will join the company’s founding team. Some of them are still in the process of leaving their current jobs.