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Columbus: General Business & Economic News

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Drive Capital doubles in size, surpasses $1B under management

 

Drive Capital LLC has raised a combined $558 million so far in two new venture funds, regulatory filings show, doubling in size to more than $1.1 billion under management.  And it's still raising.  The Columbus venture capital firm is launching its first new investment funds in three years.  Drive started raising its first $250 million fund in 2013, and re-loaded with $300 million in 2016.

( . . . )

The estimated market value of investments from the original 2013 fund is $650 million, 2.6 times the outlay, putting Drive in the top quartile for performance, according to a presentation to the Ventura County Employees' Retirement Association.  The California pension fund in March approved investing $15 million, split between the two new funds. ... Drive lists 32 portfolio companies on its website, including Columbus unicorn Root Inc., fellow digital insurer Beam Dental, and healthcare administrative bot Olive.

 

MORE:  https://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2019/04/29/drive-capital-doubles-in-size-surpasses-1b-under.html

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Auto-insurer Root taking over office space at Easton

 

Root, the auto insurer which just moved into new Downtown offices last November, is planning to take over more office space near Easton because of its rapid growth.  The company, founded in 2015 with a valuation of $1 billion, plans to begin moving into 65,000 square feet of office space at 3435 Stelzer Road next month, said Kumi Walker, the company’s chief corporate development and strategy officer.

 

The company has gone from about 70 employees to 550 in less than two years, and plans to grow to 863 in coming years, it told the city in a request for tax incentives. ... Walker said the offices at Easton will become home to the company’s claims and customer-service workers.  The Downtown offices will house the company’s engineering, data, developer and actuary positions.

 

Root is trying to upset the traditional $250 billion auto-insurance business by using smartphone technology to assess individuals’ driving behavior.  Drivers obtain a personalized quote after a two- or three-week test drive.  The company says it sells policies only to good drivers and that those drivers can save as much as 50% compared with coverage from a traditional company.

 

MORE:  https://www.dispatch.com/business/20190506/auto-insurer-root-taking-over-office-space-at-easton

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Out of floor space at its Short North home, Klarna seeks larger Columbus office

 

Klarna Bank AB is scouting larger office space in Columbus four years after the Swedish e-payments company established its North American headquarters in the Short North.  With 118 of its 150 U.S. employees here, Klarna is outgrowing the 11,000-square-foot third floor of Offices at the Joseph, 629 N. High Street, said Michael Rouse, chief commercial officer.  The rest of the building is fully leased.  "We’d love to stay in this building, but there’s no floor space left,” Rouse said.

 

Central Ohio operations – including administration, product design, software engineering, sales and customer service – could grow to about 140 workers, Rouse said during one of his frequent stops in town.  He's based in London, England.  Klarna soon will move the customer service division to a temporary space, freeing room at the Joseph while hunting for a larger office to reunite all departments, he said.  It wasn't immediately clear how much additional square footage the company is seeking.

 

MORE:  https://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2019/05/10/out-of-floor-space-at-its-short-north-home-klarna.html

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19 minutes ago, Columbo said:

Out of floor space at its Short North home, Klarna seeks larger Columbus office

 

Klarna Bank AB is scouting larger office space in Columbus four years after the Swedish e-payments company established its North American headquarters in the Short North.  With 118 of its 150 U.S. employees here, Klarna is outgrowing the 11,000-square-foot third floor of Offices at the Joseph, 629 N. High Street, said Michael Rouse, chief commercial officer.  The rest of the building is fully leased.  "We’d love to stay in this building, but there’s no floor space left,” Rouse said.

 

Central Ohio operations – including administration, product design, software engineering, sales and customer service – could grow to about 140 workers, Rouse said during one of his frequent stops in town.  He's based in London, England.  Klarna soon will move the customer service division to a temporary space, freeing room at the Joseph while hunting for a larger office to reunite all departments, he said.  It wasn't immediately clear how much additional square footage the company is seeking.

 

MORE:  https://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2019/05/10/out-of-floor-space-at-its-short-north-home-klarna.html

 

Millennial Tower. Millennial Tower. Millennial Tower. I can wish right?

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Another insurance startup company with big growth plans:  Bold Penguin

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Meanwhile, Grange Insurance sold off its life insurance operations to Kansas City Life Insurance Co. for $77.2 million last year.  Nearly all Grange life employees are expected to become Kansas City life employees, but they will continue to work in the Grange headquarters building located on South High Street in the Brewery District.  Overall, life insurance makes up about 3 percent of Grange’s business, according to the below linked articles:

 

https://www.dispatch.com/business/20180605/grange-sells-life-insurance-operations

 

https://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2018/06/05/grange-mutual-selling-life-insurance-business-for.html

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Easton getting a new coworking space

 

Easton will house the newest location of the fast-growing COhatch coworking chain.  COhatch has signed a lease for 7,500 square feet in the former Charming Charlie’s space at 4182 Worth Avenue in Easton Gateway, across the street from the main town center.  The new location will open in January 2020.

( . . . )

COhatch recently opened a new location at Polaris Fashion Place, in the space formerly occupied by a British tavern-themed restaurant chain.  The coworking company also has locations in Worthington and Delaware, with a new location in Upper Arlington set to open around August.  And earlier this month, COhatch reached an agreement to renovate the existing office space behind the Brazenhead pub in downtown Dublin and build a 10,000-square-foot location there.

( . . . )

COhatch has a plan to open a dozen locations around Central Ohio.  Through licensing, it hopes to expand to 20 locations throughout the Midwest over the next five years. 

 

MORE:  https://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/news/2019/05/20/easton-will-get-a-new-coworking-space.html

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