The Zebra snags $3 mln in seed funding

The Zebra said Tuesday that it has closed $3 million as an add-on in its seed financing round. Investors included Simon Nixon, Mark Cuban, Mike Maples, Jr., Floodgate, Silverton Partners, Birchmere Labs and Swallow Point Ventures. Based in Austin, Texas, The Zebra is a real-time auto insurance comparison platform.

PRESS RELEASE

AUSTIN, Texas, Dec. 10, 2013 — /PRNewswire/ — The Zebra (www.thezebra.com), a real-time online auto insurance comparison platform, today announced that it has raised an additional $3 million to complete its seed financing round, bringing the company total to $4.5 million to fuel a nationwide expansion of its auto insurance comparison services. The platform will now be available to both low and high risk drivers across the country, helping them find the best insurance rates.
The Zebra’s digital platform compares more than 200 of the nation’s top auto insurance carriers to provide consumers, no matter their location, with real-time quotes that best fit drivers’ needs. Through exposing drivers to rates they wouldn’t have seen through more traditional routes of purchasing, The Zebra brings a new level of transparency to the otherwise opaque process, helping consumers easily find and understand the best policy for them.
“After spending years in the insurance industry, it was clear to me that consumers needed an alternative way to purchase auto insurance,” said Adam Lyons, CEO of The Zebra. “We believe that buying auto insurance doesn’t have to be an extremely confusing or difficult process. Our platform brings today’s drivers a unique user experience that removes the hassle and confusion of purchasing policies, transforming it into a black and white process.”
In less than 60 seconds, consumers can find an auto insurance policy that fits their individualized needs. In several easy steps they are prompted to answer a few questions that indicate their risk factor, which in turn affects their rates. The site then populates with the best deals for them.
According to the Consumer Federation of America’s 2013 review of auto insurance regulation in America, expenditures on auto insurance have increased by more than 50 percent for drivers in 32 states over the past 20 years. Through The Zebra’s platform, drivers in every state can access a wide-range of insurance quotes to ensure they’re adequately protected and saving as much as possible.
The top 20 markets where insurance pricing have increased 60% or more above the national average include:
New York (62.2%)
Washington 66.2%)
Mississippi 69.0%)
Michigan (69.7%)
Florida (69.9%)
Texas (70.5%)
Iowa (73.5%)
Oklahoma (75.4%)
Delaware (79.6%)
Arkansas (81.6%)
Kansas (83.5%)
Utah (86.1%)
North Dakota (86.8%)
West Virginia (89.9%)
South Dakota (92.0%)
Kentucky (92.3%)
Wyoming (95.1%)
Montana (95.4%)
Louisiana (96.1%)
Nebraska (108.1%)
“People want a better way to buy auto insurance. We live online; so buying car insurance should be as simple as going to TheZebra.com” said investor Mark Cuban, star of ABC’s Shark Tank and an investor in The Zebra. “…The Zebra has worked with the leading insurance carriers to make sure that not only is buying auto insurance easy, but you also get the best in pricing and features. I highly recommend it.”
This new funding round included participation from Simon Nixon, one of the U.K.’s richest tech entrepreneurs and founder of the UK’s leading price comparison website Moneysupermarket.com. He joins Mark Cuban and Mike Maples, Jr. as investors in the company. Additional participation in the entire seed round included Floodgate, Silverton Partners, Birchmere Labs, and Swallow Point Ventures, bringing the company total to $4.5 million raised.
About The Zebra
The Zebra (www.thezebra.com), formerly Insurance Zebra, is a digital comparison platform for the auto insurance industry. Founded in 2012, The Zebra aims to simplify the insurance shopping experience for consumers through superior comparison products, a breadth of carrier partnerships, and innovative filtering options allowing users to determine their appropriate coverage, compare, purchase and manage their insurance all in the same place. Insurance premiums are adjusted in real-time as users input their information, helping to clarify which and how factors affect their rate.
The Zebra’s investors include Mark Cuban, Floodgate, Silverton Partners, Birchmere Labs, Simon Nixon and Swallow Point Ventures.

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