B3i, founded in year 2016, is a consortium of insurance companies developing distributed-ledger technology (DLT) for the industry. Fei Zhang, Allianz’s representative to the consortium, told DigFinlast November that the consortium intended to transform into a company in order to commercialize the products it will soon move into development.
Zhang updates us B3i is now in the process of second round of fundraising, which is expected to be closed by the end of this year.
The consortium transformed into a vendor company, B3i Services, in March, incorporated in Zurich, and its stakeholders such as Allianz became shareholders; Zhang is now a member of the executive management team, with Gerhard Lohmann, former CFO at Swiss Re, serving as B3i’s CEO.
Proceeds from additional funding will be used to roll up products in the product roadmap. “We also want to attract more investors to get to know this platform and build an ecosystem,” said Zhang.
“Building an ecosystem depends not just on B3i’s R&D: we also want to have third-party vendors to develop products on top of our platform, which requires money,” he said.
The first prototype, a property catastrophe contract, has been deemed viable by using fictive data last year, and was expected to be ready for live deployment in 2018. Zhang says the platform will be adopted by ten companies, including insurance and reinsurance, by the end of 2018, and parallel run with the existing systems. Hard launch is expected to be in year 2019.
Challenges remain. Insurance companies need to cooperate, in terms of the blueprint of the platform and its use case, as well as technology. “Technology is the last thing to worry about,” Zhang said. “Communication is the key.”