Henrico County-based Compare.com, which enables consumers to price-comparison shop for automobile insurance online, has raised $35 million to help fuel its expansion and brand development.
The recent capital infusion, announced Thursday, brings to $185 million the amount of investment the company has raised since it was founded in 2013.
“We will continue to build the business and grow the business. That [investment] is fuel to do so,” said Andrew Rose, Compare.com’s CEO.
The bulk of the most recent funding came from Henry Engelhardt and his wife, who invested $25 million.
Engelhardt is the co-founder and former CEO of Admiral Group, the United Kingdom-based auto insurance giant that owns a 59 percent stake in Compare.com.
Admiral Group also owns Henrico-based direct-to-consumer auto insurer Elephant Insurance Services LLC, where Engelhardt served as Elephant’s interim CEO for eight months last year.
As a result of this investment, Engelhardt will get a seat on the Compare.com board. He and his wife will own about 17 percent of the company.
The other investment came from Admiral Group, which has provided Compare.com with a $10 million convertible loan instrument.
The two other key investors own the remaining 24 percent stake in Compare.com. Those investors are White Mountains Insurance Group Ltd. and Mapfre, an insurance company based in Spain.
The capital raise began in the summer and closed Wednesday, Rose said.
When the company told Engelhardt about the funding raise, he jumped at the chance to participate, he said.
“This is a business that Henry has been excited about for many, many years,” Rose said.
Many consumers do comparison shopping on a whole array of areas — from grocery items and gasoline prices to airplane tickets and hotel rooms, he said. But most consumers get a quote for their auto insurance once and rarely compare to get a better deal.
“People don’t shop their auto insurance now,” said Rose, adding that this is an area that is rapidly changing. “Compare.com can be something you are saving 5 and 10 grand over time.”
Compare.com has relationships with more than 60 automobile insurance carriers, including Liberty Mutual, MetLife, SafeAuto and Elephant Insurance. It just added USAA this week. The company offers car insurance comparison services in 49 states.
The company has delivered more than 40 million quotes since it was created through its website, Rose said.
“The number keeps climbing,” he said. “We are at a decent size.”
Compare.com also offers bundled auto and homeowner insurance quotes now in 36 states after testing it last year.
“It is a much broader part of what we do,” Rose said. “What we have found is consumers shop their auto insurance and then add on home insurance later.
“While we offer it [auto and home insurance bundled quotes] and it has grown, auto insurance comparison is our bread and butter.”
Compare.com operates from a 26,000-square-foot office at 140 East Shore Drive. The company employs about 75 people locally and about a couple dozen people in India.