Root disclosed plans to grow its workforce over the next three years by about 500 percent and also move to a new, significantly expanded headquarters in Columbus, Ohio.
The auto insurance startup, which relies on telematics to set rates, will relocate from its initial Columbus location to a new 65,000-square-foot space downtown and also invest about $2 million to build out and equip the space. The expansion is contingent upon approval of City of Columbus incentives, and JobsOhio also will provide assistance for the project.
Additionally, Root said it will grow its current, 88-person workforce by adding about 463 new, full-time permanent positions by the end of 2021.
Root CEO and co-Founder Alex Timm said the new hires and bigger headquarters will help fuel Root’s ongoing national expansion. He added that staying in Columbus made sense for the company.
“Root’s growth since we were founded in 2015 is due in no small part to the strong talent we continue to find in Columbus,” Timm said in prepared remarks.
Since launching, Root has expanded to 16 states, with plans to be nationwide by the end of 2019. In April 2018, the company closed a $51 million Series C funding round, which Root said was one of the largest funding announcements by an Ohio tech startup.
Root rewards good drivers with cheaper insurance rates based on their use of the company’s app and its telematics/smartphone-related technology that helps measure driver behavior. Once the app is downloaded, potential customers do a test drive over two to three weeks, depending on driving frequency. Root provides a quote, based on driving behavior the app collects, such as hard brakes, aggressive turns and mileage driven. Drivers with Root can save up to 52 percent on premiums.