Nation’s leading auto insurance marketplace adds former KAYAK President Keith Melnick as CEO while Accel Partners leads company’s funding round – the largest Texas Series B financing of 2017
AUSTIN, Texas — September 19, 2017 — The Zebra, the nation’s leading auto insurance comparison marketplace, today announced it has raised $40 million in Series B funding led by Accel Partners to continue its mission to simplify how consumers understand, purchase, and manage insurance. The Zebra introduces Keith Melnick, former president of travel metasearch engine KAYAK as Chief Executive Officer, joining the pioneering insurtech company as it expands to reach new users and markets.
“From day one we set out to make insurance ‘black and white,’ and our team is making a huge impact in driving this industry forward,” The Zebra Founder and Chairman Adam Lyons said. “There is no shortage of interest in the insurance space right now, and we felt Accel was the right partner and aligned with our vision of creating something big. When we met Keith, we knew instantly that we found the talent to help take this company to new heights.”
Accel Leads The Zebra’s Series B
The Zebra’s Series B round marks one of Accel’s first investments in insurance in the U.S., as well as its largest investment in tech hub Austin, Texas to date. Accel Partners has backed massive consumer brands including Facebook, Dropbox, Spotify, Venmo, and KAYAK.
"There's an opportunity in insurance to build the go-to digital brand for comparison shopping, just as we've lived through from the beginning with what KAYAK did for travel," said John Locke, a Partner with Accel. "The Zebra team has the product-first DNA and momentum to pull this off, and we're thrilled to partner with Keith Melnick – who we worked with on KAYAK for over a decade – and the whole The Zebra team to help make this vision a reality."
The Leading Auto Insurance Comparison Marketplace
The Zebra’s Series B brings its funding total to $61.5 million. The company has continued to grow revenue more than 80 percent year over year and has established itself as a leader in the growing insurtech space.
The Zebra is the most visited car insurance comparison site in the U.S., providing millions of insurance quotes every month. It searches more than 200 auto insurance companies in seconds to give consumers the choice and simplicity they need to find the right coverage at the right price. The Zebra has partnered with 80 percent of the top 25 auto insurance companies and offers vast educational resources, allowing consumers to search, understand, and purchase coverage to meet their unique needs.
Where Will $40 Million Take The Zebra Next?
The Zebra will move quickly, expanding product functionality, adding new lines of insurance, growing both staff and partnerships to expand its reach, and making substantial investments in brand-building and other marketing efforts to establish The Zebra as a household name.
As a truly independent insurance marketplace, The Zebra will continue to offer more educational tools consumers need to understand and find the insurance coverage they need in today’s unpredictable environment.
“Insurtech is exploding, bringing concepts like peer-to-peer insurance and pay-per-mile models in front of consumers,” The Zebra Co-founder and COO Joshua Dziabiak said. “Our role is to serve as the online marketplace where these innovations are made available to consumers. The vision is for consumers to be able to learn about, search and compare their options, and then purchase and manage their insurance coverage – all in one place.”
Founding KAYAK Executive Keith Melnick Joins The Zebra as CEO
Keith Melnick brings more than 20 years of experience to help fuel The Zebra’s growth. He most recently served as President of KAYAK, and was on the team that launched the company in 2004. He previously worked as a management consultant with the Boston Consulting Group, concentrating on travel, e-commerce, and financial services, and he helped create Orbitz, Inc.
“The insurance industry is where the travel industry was 10 years ago. While the industries vary in players, complexity, and structure, it’s clear to me that the time is ripe to create a similar sort of easy-to-use, yet powerful, consumer experience for both those shopping for and those providing insurance,” The Zebra CEO Keith Melnick said. “It sounds simple, but it definitely is not, and it can revolutionize the industry. The Zebra gets that, I get that, and we share a vision and a plan to get it done.”
The Zebra’s investors also include Silverton Partners, Floodgate, Ballast Point Ventures, Mark Cuban, Daher Capital, and Birchmere Labs.
About The Zebra
The Zebra is the nation’s leading auto insurance marketplace. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, the company has sought to bring transparency and simplicity to insurance shopping since 2012 — it’s “insurance in black and white.”
With The Zebra’s dynamic, real-time comparison engine, drivers can identify insurance companies with the coverage, service level, and pricing to suit their unique needs. The Zebra compares over 200 car insurance companies and provides agent support and educational resources to ensure drivers are equipped to make the most informed decisions about their car insurance.