- March 3, 2024
ST. PETERSBURG — Squaremouth, a St. Petersburg company that operates a travel insurance comparison website, continues to find ways to innovate — despite how much the pandemic has crushed the travel sector.
As proof of that hit, the company, in a statement, says sales fell 90% in May as the COVID-19 crisis all but wiped out travel. Despite the setback, the company, which generated $34 million in sales in 2019, kept all of its 39 employees working their normal hours and with full pay. Squaremouth, in. the statement, also celebrated what's a bittersweet accolade: for the eighth consecutive year it was named to the Inc. 5000 list of the nation’s fastest-growing companies, coming in at No. 2,505.
“The company understood many travelers would have questions and concerns during these unprecedented times,” Squaremouth Public Relations Manager Kasara Barto states in the release. “By keeping all staff, they were able to increase their customer service department and assist customers quickly and efficiently. Being fully staffed has also given Squaremouth the opportunity to prepare for the changing future of travel, by working on products that will address new traveler behavior and concerns.”
Prior to COVID-19, Squaremouth was on a tear, posting a three-year revenue growth rate of 164%. It was typically making up to 500 sales a day, but that number plummeted to as little as 12 as the pandemic curtailed travel. CEO Chris Harvey says the lull in activity is being put to good use.
“We are taking this time to innovate, instead of cutting staff,” Harvey states in the release. “By being able to keep all our staff working full hours, we can start working toward the new normal, for all the changes that are going to come.”
Squaremouth, jumping on the work from home trend and for other reasons, recently listed for sale its headquarters building — a 20,000-square-foot, converted 60-year-old church on Central Avenue — for $3.9 million.