Back on January 8th, a story broke that Google may have been looking into buying CoverHound, a California-based insurance broker and also a leading platform for comparing and purchasing insurance. At the time, it was thought(though unconfirmed)that Google may have been looking to buy CoverHound in hopes of using that as an "in" to the insurance market here in the states through Google's insurance comparison service which had been previously rolled out in Europe, called Google Compare. As it turns out, Google has not bought out CoverHound but they are entering into a new partnership with them, and CoverHound will help to power Google Compare along with various other insurance comparison marketplaces.
To help with this new partnership, CoverHound will be using some of its newly raised series B funding that totals around $14 Million from past investors RRE Ventures, Blumberg Capital, and Bullpen Capital, as well as new investors Core Innovation Capital, Thomas Lehrman, Tugboat Ventures, Route 66 Ventures and American Family Ventures. CoverHound states that the funding will help to "support carrier growth and integrations with large marketing partnerships," which will see them hiring on new staff at both its San Francisco office as well as their operations in Southern California. CoverHound's CEO Keith Moore states "With our B round now secured, we will continue to expand our team and reach even more insurance shoppers online through new, high profile partnerships."
CoverHound already operates a sort of one-stop shop marketplace where consumers can search for and purchase insurance in a hassle free environment, something that Google Compare is looking to do for people as well, and with CoverHound gearing up to power Google Compare in the near future the service should become more robust and help Google Compare reach more consumers. Both Google Compare and CoverHound aim to streamline the auto insurance buying process for consumers, with the ability to search for insurance from multiple providers all online and then purchase through the same site without having to be re-routed out to another location to buy. Google Compare even offers the options to buy online or speak to a real agent over the phone if customers prefer, as does CoverHound. With so many similarities in what they're looking to offer and to do for customers, it's no wonder this partnership is taking place.