Seth Birnbaum, the entrepreneur co-founder and chief executive officer of the Cambridge, Mass.-based online insurance marketplace EverQuote, passed away on Nov. 28.
A statement released by the company said that Birnbaum’s passing was unexpected and peaceful, and that he died at his home.
His death came at a time when the company is growing and entering new lines of insurance in addition to its personal lines offerings.
The company’s announcement continued: “Seth was a sincere and deeply caring husband, father, friend and colleague. The entire EverQuote team mourns his tragic passing. On behalf of our board of directors, management team and employees, we extend our deepest sympathies to Seth’s family. Seth was a genuine, dynamic leader whose remarkable passion, vision and tenacity attracted the world-class team we have in place today, which serves as the foundation for EverQuote’s success. We will be forever grateful for his entrepreneurial spirit and the welcoming and caring environment he cultivated.”
Implementing the company’s succession plan, the board of directors appointed Jayme Mendal, the company’s president, as CEO and a member of the board of directors. Mendal joined EverQuote in 2017 and previously served as our chief operating officer and before that as chief revenue officer.
David Blundin, managing partner at Link Ventures and an investor in the company, will continue to serve as chairman of the board of directors.
Blundin also issued a statement on behalf of the board: “We have experienced a great loss at EverQuote, and we are heartbroken by Seth’s passing. We are confident that Jayme and the rest of the EverQuote leadership team will continue to successfully drive forward in executing on the company’s mission. Seth was a visionary leader, thoughtful colleague and dear friend of many. We honor his numerous contributions and will miss him immensely.”
“Of all the people I’ve met, he was the one most likely to be the next Jeff Bezos in Boston, or the next Bill Gates in Boston,” Blundin told the Boston Globe. “It’s a huge loss for Boston.”
Tomas Revesz, EverQuote co-founder, and Birnbaum met while students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and became friends and entrepreneurial partners.
After MIT, they co-founded NeoGenesis Pharmaceuticals, a biotech company that was bought by Schering-Plough. Then they launched Verdasys, a cybersecurity company, now known as Digital Guardian.
Revesz, EverQuote’s chief technology officer, told the Boston Globe that he and Birnbaum were different personalities. Whereas he tended to be more conservative and preferred to work behind the scenes, Birnbaum was always ready to go full speed ahead and liked being out in front with people.
In 2011, with no experience in insurance, they founded EverQuote, a pioneering firm that utilizes proprietary technology and data to match insurance shoppers with carriers and agents, both online and offline. The software recommends carriers based on the consumer’s risk profile and information on carriers that consumers with similar profiles have chosen in the past.
The company has been expanding beyond its auto, home and life sales, entering the renters insurance and commercial insurance markets, and exploring international insurance markets similar to the U.S.
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