When art Agrawal grew up in India, driving a car was a rare treat, and owning a car was a dream. When he moved to the US and bought his first car, he was shocked by how much it cost and how difficult it was to maintain a car.
In 2012 he co-founded a company called YourMechanic (and won TechCrunch’s To disturb this year), which offers on-demand mobile maintenance and repair services for motor vehicles. Over the years, he had the challenge in mind of helping consumers find car insurance more easily. So he teamed up in 2017 Lina Zhang and Musawir Shah Create Jerry, a “super app” that is the first to own a car. The Palo Alto-based startup launched a car insurance comparison service using artificial intelligence and machine learning in January 2019. Since then, it has tacitly amassed nearly 1 million clients in the US as a licensed insurance broker.
“Today, as a consumer, you have to go to several different places to do different things,” said Agrawal. “Jerry wants to change that.”
And today today Jerry announces more than $ 57 million in funding has been raised including a new $ 28 million Series B round led by Goodwater Capital. A group of angel investors also participated, including Greenlight President Johnson Cook and Greenlight CEO Timothy Sheehan; Jay Vijayan, CEO of Tekion; Jon McNeill, CEO of DVx Ventures and former President of Tesla and former COO of Lyft; Brandon War, CEO of Stash and Ed Robinson, Co-Founder and President of Stash.
According to CEO Agrawal, Jerry differs from other car-related marketplaces in that it is designed to help consumers with various aspects of car ownership (from repairs to maintenance to insurance to warranties) rather than just one. Although it is currently primarily focused on insurance, it plans to use its new capital to move into other categories of car ownership.
The company also believes that it differs from its competitors in that it does not direct a consumer to an insurance carrier’s website, for example requiring them to register with them separately. Rather, Jerry uses automation to provide consumers with tailored offers from more than 45 insurance carriers “in 45 seconds”. Consumers can then sign up with the new airline through Jerry, which would even terminate previous policies on their behalf.
“With Jerry, you can complete the entire transaction in our app,” said Agrawal. “We’re not sending you to another site. You don’t have to fill out a lot of forms. You just give us some information and we will make you offers immediately. “
Customers save an average of $ 800 a year on auto insurance, according to the company. Jerry also has a similar offering for home insurance, but its focus is on owning cars.
The company has to do something right. In 2020 Jerry saw sales increase 10x.
According to Agrawal, Jerry sold several million dollars in insurance in 2019. This year the company is on the right track to do three to four times more than in the previous year.
“There is no other automated way to compare and buy auto insurance because not all APIs are easily accessible,” he said. “We have automated the end-to-end journey for the consumer using our infrastructure, which only scales over time.”
Jerry makes recurring income from earning a percentage of the premium when a consumer purchases a policy on their website from providers like Progressive.
“Many of the marketplaces are leading. A very small percentage of their sales keep coming back, ”said Agrawal. “For us it’s 100% of our sales.”
Goodwater Capital’s Chi-Hua Chien notes that insurance has historically been a very challenging category from a customer experience perspective.
“They took something that was historically painful, intimidating, and difficult for the customer, and made it effortless,” he told TechCrunch. “This experience will also apply to comparison shopping and maintenance over time.”
Chien said he was also drawn to the category itself.
“This is a competitive category as 100% of drivers must have auto insurance 100% of the time,” he said. “It’s a big market that won’t go away. And since Jerry is powered by AI, it will only serve customers better and just grow faster over time. “