Fineqia International Inc., a Vancouver-based technology company, announced it is taking an equity allocation in Black Insurance, a blockchain insurance startup.
Terms of the investment were not disclosed, but Fineqia said its investment represents less than 1 percent of its market capitalization.
Tallinn, Estonia-headquartered Black Insurance intends to become a licensed insurer and enable the underwriting of new insurance policies via insurance syndicates akin to the Lloyd’s market, said Fineqia, explaining insurance brokers and agents will be able to create tailor-made insurance schemes faster and cheaper using the Black platform.
Black will price the risk of specific syndicates and sell fractional ownership in such pools in the form of tokens representing the unit value of each syndicate’s expected financial return. This process makes participation in insurance syndicates more efficient and transparent via time-stamped and traceable transaction records recorded on the blockchain.
Black is gearing toward an initial coin offering (ICO) later this year, to sell utility tokens that will be used for transacting on its platform, once it is publicly available.
Fineqia said its strategic investment in Black will allow it to strengthen its existing pipeline of asset-backed debt securities that will be offered to investors on its platform.
“We are excited to back Black, which allows for a wide variety of investors to participate in a high quality insurance finance product,” said Fineqia’s CEO Bundeep Singh Rangar who also helped found Black.
“Black represents everything we want from issuers on our platform: innovation, disruption and ambition,” added Rangar. “We believe that insurance is one sector ripe for blockchain disruption and Black Insurance has the right team experience to make this happen.”
One-third (33 percent) of all insurers are planning to use blockchain in the next two years and another third (36 percent) have it on their agendas for consideration, said Fineqia, quoting an Accenture report titled: “Technology Vision for Insurance 2017.”
“There is a lot of appetite in the insurance industry to innovate and cross the threshold to a radically new era,” adds Risto Rossar, Black’s founder. “We already have dozens of requests from brokers across the world to join the platform. They have grown impatient of the innovation-averse, slow mindset dominating the industry, and see Black as a way to make their aspirations a reality.”
Black’s utilization of blockchain in insurance means a decrease in operational costs, increased security and transparency, mitigation against any single point of failure and enhancement of the reputations for all parties involved, explained Fineqia. By establishing a marketplace where investors and insurance underwriters can directly trade with one another, Black seeks to minimize transaction costs.
Fineqia’s investment in Black Insurance is in line with its strategy to invest in blockchain-related companies that support its business model.