News Roundup: Crazy Richard’s B Corp Certified, Root Raises $51 Million, Cbus a Top City for Startups

Columbus’ small and local businesses are making headlines. There’s good news for the community as a whole with a new ranking, while two established businesses have achieved significant milestones. Keep reading for more from Crazy Richard’s, Root and

Crazy Richard’s Awarded B Corp Certification 

Columbus-based peanut butter company Crazy Richard’s is now a certified B Corporation. A designation stamped by non-profit B Lab, B Corps are certified for-profit businesses that meet strict standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

The family-owned nut butter company is under its second generation of leadership with Founder Richard Craig Sonksen’s daughter Kimmi Wernli at the helm.

“We are a family-owned business that believes in putting family first,” Wernli says. “Part of doing that means taking care of the world and the environment. We are honored to be B Corp Certified and to continue this worldwide mission.”

Churning out nut butters made form 100 percent nuts and nothing else, the certification puts more formality around may of the practices Wernli already saw in place when she took the reigns.

Reflecting its B Corp Values, Crazy Richard’s also gives back to the community through its Healthy Kids Happy Future Project. Crazy Richard’s donates 10 percent of profits to causes that promote children’s wellness.

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Columbus Ranked #5 City for Entrepreneurs & Startups in 2018

Columbus landed in the middle of the pack at #5 in’s ranking of the Top 10 Cities for Entrepreneurs and Startups in 2018.

The rankings considered factors like:

  • Young adult dwellers
  • Higher educaiton
  • Local employment
  • Income vs. rent
  • Startup surges

Columbus earned its spot on the list for its large, educated young adult population and solid numbers for start-up growth, topping the list of all cities ranked in startup growth percent.

Columbus joins a #3 Minneapolis as the only Midwestern cities in the top 10. Startup meccas San Fransisco and San Jose also edged out Columbus at #1 and #4 respectively, with Austin, TX rounding out the top five at #2. Expanding the list to the 40 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas, Cincinnati ranked #26 and Cleveland #35.

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Root Insurance Closes $51 Million Series C Round 

Columbus-based Root Insurance has closed a $51 million round of Series C funding led by Redpoint Ventures, with Scale Venture Partners, Ribbit Capital and Silicon Valley Bank Capital Partners also participating in the round.

Since its launch in 2016, Root has been out to shake up the car insurance industry with its personalized quotes calculated based on a customer’s driving habits instead of traditional demographic factors.

“As Root reinvents car insurance, we are excited to have Redpoint and ScaleVP add to the experience and expertise provided by our current investors,” said Alex Timm, CEO and co-founder of Root in a press release. “Our technology allows us to give drivers rates based primarily on factors they can actually control, bringing fairness to a broken and antiquated industry. We are leveraging mobile technology and artificial intelligence to reimagine the way insurance works.”

Root recently spoke with The Metropreneur about its rapid growth – exploding from 15 to 70 employees in the span of a year and hitting a double-digit number of states – and exploration into uncharted territory as the first insurance company to offer a discount for self-driving cars, beginning with Tesla Autopilot.

Root plans to use the funds to expand into additional states with the hopes of nearly nation-wide reach by 2019 and invest in technology to improve customer experience.

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