B3i founders form blockchain startup
Zurich – B3i, the Blockchain Insurance Industry Initiative, announced the incorporation of B3iServices AG in Zurich, Switzerland. The company was formed by the founders of B3i. Up until now B3i has been a collaborative initiative of 15 global insurers and reinsurers who came together in late 2016 to explore and test the potential of blockchain in the industry.
Jaime Anchùsteguì, Generali Group Chief Operations & Insurance Officer, commented: “This is an important milestone in the B3i initiative roadmap that consolidates the excellent work done by the industry collaboration during the first year of work. This step allows setting the foundations of the right framework, both financially and operationally, for the development of blockchain solutions for the insurance and reinsurance industry ecosystem. Moreover, it’s a confirmation that as incumbents we are seriously looking into new technologies to enable structural change in our operating models. Additionally, it paves the way to further strengthen the coalition by opening up to new shareholders and new funds”.
Paolo Ribotta, Generali Global Corporate & Commercial CEO, added: “The first year of work has proven that blockchain technology has a true potential for restructuring the industry, and that such potential can only be exploited if approached by a transversal, inclusive, market initiative. The incorporation of B3i goes in the right direction of establishing a start-up minded company strongly supported by market incumbents, with the mission of enabling an IT ecosystem where insurance transactions can occur frictionless, automatic, and integrated. It’s an important step for the initiative and at the same time a giant leap for the industry. It will accelerate the development of solutions that will increase our capability of providing meaningful services to our clients, simplifying the interactions and improving the transparency and quality of our products”.
Gerhard Lohmann, CFO of Reinsurance, Swiss Re, has been appointed as chairman of the company and recently commented: "The transition of B3i from consortium to independent company is a concrete step forward to realising the enormous potential of blockchain for the insurance industry. Personally, I am very excited to be at the forefront of this innovation that has the capability to transform the industry and help make insurance more affordable, accessible and attractive for market segments that are currently disenfranchised, or underprivileged."
B3i Services AG’s purpose is to provide insurance solutions on a blockchain platform that substantially improves efficiency across the value chain of the re/insurance industry — in some cases up to 30%. These innovative solutions benefit both insurance companies and customers through improved speed, transparency, quality, security, and cost.
B3i successfully completed its first product, a blockchain prototype for property cat XoL reinsurance contracts, in mid-2017. Throughout October 2017, a group of 38 insurers, brokers, and reinsurers tested its functionality and robustness. The prototype demonstrated that transactions could become quicker, more efficient, and more secure than with current methods. The first live trades on the platform are anticipated by the end of 2018, with several other products being developed concurrently.
The formation and incorporation of B3i Services AG represents a significant milestone for the members of B3i. As an independent legal entity with its own capital and Intellectual Property, B3i Services AG can streamline the development, testing and commercialisation of blockchain solutions.
The incorporation of B3i Services AG is the starting point for the next stage of the initiative. The company will be raising additional funds from a wide spectrum of insurance industry participants over the coming months. The ambition is to create an ecosystem of products and services developed “by the market, for the market”.