News Roundup: Root Valued at $1B, New Leadership at the Idea Foundry, Columbus’ Inc. 5000 & More

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A $1 billion dollar valuation, a global acquisition and national recognition for continued success – Columbus companies are growing. Learn more about the businesses involved in each, plus updates from the Idea Foundry in News Roundup.

Root Raises Series D, Ups Valuation

Columbus-based Root Insurance has raised $100 million in a Series D round of funding led by New York-based Tiger Global Management. Founded in 2015, the round of funding raises the three-year-old company’s valuation to $1 billion.

Offering car insurance quotes based on driving behavior, Root will leverage the funding to deepen penetration in existing markets, expand into new states and fuel hiring plans. The car insurance company currently serves 20 states and anticipates expanding into all 50 states and Washington, D.C., by the end of 2019. Hiring will focus on engineers, actuaries, claims and customer service to support the increased scale.

“We are excited that Root continues to attract the commitment and capital of some of the largest and most successful venture funds, like Tiger Global Management, who recognize the power of the Root platform and our prospects for growth and success,” said Alex Timm, co-founder and CEO of Root in a press release. “This additional capital will allow us to accelerate our strategy to transform the car insurance world and reinvent a broken industry from the ground up by setting the new standard for how customers buy and use insurance.”

Root has seen a 4,500 percent year-over-year increase in direct written premiums in the first six months of 2018.

For more information, visit joinroot.com.

37 Central Ohio Companies Make Inc. 5000

Thirty-seven Central Ohio companies are among some of the fastest growing businesses in the nation. An annual ranking of the fastest-growing, privately-held, for-profit companies in the U.S., Columbus’ ranks saw a mix of returning businesses, and several new entrants.

Topping the list for Central Ohio at #248 is Westerville-based IT management firm Central Point Partners. Also ranking in the top 500 are software company T-Pro Solutions at #336 and advertising & marketing agency TENFOLD at #368.

The three companies in the top 500 join 13 other local companies making their first appearance on the list. Eight other companies celebrated milestones of ranking on the list for five plus years, with Dublin’s ERP Analysts making its 10th appearance on the list.

The number of Columbus companies on the Inc. 5000 is down from 50 in 2017. The number of Ohio-based companies also dropped, from 172 in 2017 to 147 in 2018.

To see the full list of Columbus businesses on the Inc. 5000, click here

New Leadership at the Columbus Idea Foundry

There’s a new CEO at the Idea Foundry. Founder Alex Bandar will step out of the role of CEO while long-time COO Casey McCarty steps in.

Idea Foundry investor and partner Christopher Celeste stresses that Bandar is not going anywhere, but shifting focus. Bandar’s new role includes business development and maker evangelism – developing education outreach initiatives and consulting with other upstart makerspaces.

In her new role as CEO, McCarty will focus on sustainability and long-term growth opportunities, including expanding the Idea Foundry’s reach beyond Columbus and embracing the intersection between makerspace resources and the future of work.

The 65,000 square foot Idea Foundry in Franklinton is one of the largest makerspaces in the the world. The facility serves more than 700 members including more than 400 Central Ohio small businesses, and welcomes more than 3,000 students annually through a variety of classes.

For more information, visit ideafoundry.com.

Columbus’ Pillar Technology Acquired by Accenture

Global professional services company Accenture is in agreement to acquire Columbus-headquartered Pillar Technology. A smart embedded software company, Pillar is playing a significant role in the Smart Cities initiative and slated to drive the creation of an autonomous vehicle research and development center.

The acquisition will help Accenture expand its Industry X.0 practice which helps industrial, high-tech, software, automotive, energy and utility companies address the shift to digital products and services.

“Our ambition is to provide the best possible software — embedded or connected — at lightning speed,” said Pillar Technology CEO Bob Myers in a press release. “We focus on value and fast feedback loops that puts user experience at the forefront. Joining Accenture‘s Industry X.0 practice will allow us to bring this focus on speed-to-value to even more clients. We’re excited to be a part of how Industry X.0 will help clients reach new heights in the U.S. and globally.”

For more information, pillartechnology.com.