Business & Tech

Insurance startup raises $23 million in second-round financing

Employees at work in the office of EverQuote in Cambridge. The new financing will allow the company to expand by about 120 people.
Keith Bedford/Globe Staff/File 2015
Employees at work in the office of EverQuote in Cambridge. The new financing will allow the company to expand by about 120 people.

Cambridge insurance startup EverQuote Inc. has raised $23 million in private equity funding to expand its business and its safe-driving mobile application, the company announced on Thursday.

With this fresh round of financing, EverQuote joins the growing rank of insurance technology companies that are transforming the staid industry and attracting attention and money from investors.

EverQuote launched in 2011 as an online marketplace for consumers to shop for auto insurance quotes. It has about 70 insurance carriers and 5,000 insurance agencies on its platform. But it is expanding into home and life insurance, too, company officials said.

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The company also plans to position itself as a data broker, taking advantage of the growing importance that technology plays in tracking how people drive, protect their homes, and stay healthy, which dictates how much they pay in insurance premiums.

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“We see an increasing opportunity for personalization of insurance products,” said Tomas Revesz, the chief technology office of EverQuote. He said there’s a need for a third party to securely hold consumer data from devices such as Fitbits, driving apps, and home-monitoring devices, and then connect those consumers with insurance companies that offer them the best deals, Revesz said.

EverQuote is hoping to be that primary intermediary, he said.

This is the second formal round of financing for EverQuote, which raised about $1 million when it first launched. The company also raised about $1.6 million last year from friends and family, said Seth Birnbaum, the company’s chief executive officer.

“We have experienced tremendous growth in the past three years and this funding will help EverQuote continue to grow quickly while we develop a unique personal-risk marketplace for consumers and insurance providers,” Birnbaum said.

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The $23 million investment is backed by Maryland-based Savano Capital Partners, Stratim Capital LLC and Oceanic Partners, headquartered in California, and T Capital Partners of Concord.

EverQuote plans to hire about 120 more employees by the end of 2017, including salespeople and technology experts, adding to its staff of about 80, Birnbaum said.

The company piloted a mobile driving app that identifies bad habits, such as hard braking and distracted driving, and is planning to use the new investment to expand its use to more consumers, he said.

Investment in property and casualty insurance technology startups have been growing in the past two years. So far this year, $483 million has been funneled to these insurance technology firms, compared to $141 million in all of 2014, according to CB Insights, a New York research company focused on the startup industry.

Deirdre Fernandes can be reached at deirdre.fernandes@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @fernandesglobe.