The Zebra

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The Zebra
Insurance Zebra
Industry Vehicle Insurance
Founded 2012; 6 years ago (2012), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Founder Adam Lyons
Joshua Dziabiak
Headquarters Austin, Texas, United States
Key people
Keith Melnick, CEO
Joshua Dziabiak, COO & CMO
Meetesh Karia, CTO

The Zebra is a insurance search engine and comparison website with headquarters in Austin, Texas. It compares rates from over 200 insurance carriers.[1]


The Zebra was founded in 2012 by Adam Lyons who previously worked in the insurance industry in both brokering and underwriting.[2] Originally named Insurance Zebra, the company initially started in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.[3]

The Zebra was part of the Alpha Lab Incubator Program run by the Pittsburgh venture capital firm Innovation Works, where it gained the attention of venture capital fund Silverton Partners.[4]

ShowClix founder Joshua Dziabiak joined Lyons as the co-founder, coinciding with the company receiving a $1.5 million in seed funding from investors that included Mark Cuban, Silverton Partners, Floodgate, and Birchmere Labs.[5] The funding was used to officially launch the website, with the company relocating to Austin, Texas[4] and Dziabiak later being named company COO.[1]

The Zebra was initially launched in September 2013 in both Texas and California, the two states with the most drivers.[6] It initially offered quotes from 33 different insurers (approximately 90% of the market), requiring only a zip code and vehicle information to obtain a quote.[6] The quotes were provided from a direct relationship that The Zebra had with the insurers, or through a rate manual from companies that it did not have a direct relationship with.[6] The website allowed a more detailed quote for users who answered additional questions such as driving history. By the end of 2013, The Zebra was available to users in all 50 states, while increasing its platform to 204 companies that included 22 big carriers such as Esurance and The General.[7] It also received an additional $3 million of funding from its existing investors,[8] adding investor Simon Nixon to the list of new investors.

In January 2016, The Zebra announced that it closed $17 million in Series A funding with investment from Cuban, Mike Maples Jr., Nixon, Silverton, and new investors Daher Capital and Ballast Point Ventures, bringing total funding to over $21 million.[9] In 2017, The company announced a $40 million series B funding round, led by Accel Partners, bringing their fundraising total to $61.5 million.[10] The company also brought on Keith Melnick as CEO.[11] In 2017 the company added an "Insurability Score" which shows consumers to see what impacts their insurance risk, similar to a credit score for credit.[12]

The Zebra has received national media attention for its positioning as a disrupter in the $220 billion auto insurance industry, particularly with high school dropout Lyons at the helm, and because of his cold pitch email which caught investor Mark Cuban’s eye.[13] NBC Nightly News recommended The Zebra as a tool to compare car insurance quotes and save on rates.[14] The company is also known for its sense of humor and culture, having issued a joke which Time Magazine included in its Best April Fools’ Pranks of 2014,[15][16] and the company was named a Best Place to Work in Austin for four consecutive years from 2015 through 2018.[17][18][19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Netzer, Jamie (18 March 2014). "The Zebra Offers Insurance in Black and White". Silicon Hills News. Retrieved 5 January 2015. 
  2. ^ Lapowsky, Issie (10 December 2013). "How a 26-Year-Old Founder Landed Mark Cuban's Money". Inc. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  3. ^ Lalorek (10 October 2012). "Why I Moved My Company To Austin". Silicon Hills News. Retrieved 5 January 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Todd, Deborah M. (10 March 2013). "Austin ascends: High tech transforms Texas capital into a star". The Post Gazette. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  5. ^ Spencer, Malia (4 January 2013). "ShowClix CEO departing for Austin to join Insurance Zebra". Pittsburgh Business Journal. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c Perez, Sarah (5 September 2013). "Insurance Zebra Launches A Kayak For Auto Insurance". Tech Crunch. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  7. ^ Perez, Sarah (10 December 2013). "Kayak For Auto Insurance Site The Zebra Grabs Another $3M, Launches Nationwide". Tech Crunch. Retrieved 5 January 2014. 
  8. ^ Bedigian, Louis (12 December 2013). "The Zebra, a Car Insurance Statup, Raises $3 Million From High-Profile Investors". Benzinga. Retrieved 5 January 2015. 
  9. ^ Perez, Sarah (27 January 2016). "The Zebra, A "Kayak For Auto Insurance," Grabs $17 Million To Better Educate Drivers About Rates & Coverage". Tech Crunch. Retrieved 14 March 2016. 
  10. ^ Gensler, Lauren (19 September 2017). "The Zebra Raises $40 Million, Taps New CEO To Expand Beyond Car Insurance". Forbes. Retrieved 7 July 2018. 
  11. ^ Wistrom, Brent (19 September 2017). "The Zebra Hires Former Kayak President and Closes $40M Investment". American Inno. Retrieved 7 July 2018. 
  12. ^ Gensler, Lauren (24 October 2017). "There's A New Way To Figure Out Why Your Car Insurance Costs So Much". Forbes. Retrieved 7 July 2018. 
  13. ^ Griffith, Erin (26 January 2016). "High School Dropout Raises $17 Million After Cold Emailing Mark Cuban". Fortune. Retrieved 14 March 2016. 
  14. ^ "U.S. Drivers Struggle under Soaring Car Insurance Premiums". NBC Nightly News. 1 July 2016. Retrieved 2 October 2016. 
  15. ^ Theis, Michael (2 April 2014). "April Fools: Austin companies crank up the pranks on day of mischief". Austin Business Journal. Retrieved 5 January 2015. 
  16. ^ Waxman, Olivia B. (1 April 2014). "The Best April Fools' Pranks of 2014". Time Magazine. Retrieved 5 January 2015. 
  17. ^ "Maid service, 'treat yo' self' perks make The Zebra a Best Place to Work". Austin Business Journal. 14 March 2016. Retrieved 14 March 2016. 
  18. ^ Pope, Colin (24 June 2016). "The Best Places to Work in 2016 - the winners, how they rank and what makes them so cool". Austin Business Journals. Retrieved 2 October 2016. 
  19. ^ "The Zebra Named Best Place to Work in Austin for Fourth Consecutive Year". 

External links[edit]