B3i, the blockchain technology company owned by 17 major global insurers, has a new investor, China Pacific Insurance (CPIC). CPIC’s representative, Li Hao joins the B3i board. The blockchain firm did not disclose the terms of the deal, but the previous investors in the current round contributed on average $1.3 million each.
CPIC is the first Chinese investor, although B3i already boasts two Asian shareholders in co-founder Tokio Marine and more recently, SBI Group.
The Chinese insurer is the second largest Chinese property insurer and the third-largest life company. Various Chinese government departments own just under 50% of CPIC’s shares. In 2018 the company had insurance revenues of almost $50 billion, served 126 million customers, and is currently ranked as number 199 in the Fortune Global 500.
“We hope that the strategic cooperation with B3i will give us more insight in the leading practice in blockchain technology standards, protocol design and network building,” said Mr. Gu Yue, Chairman of China Pacific Property Insurance Co.
“Together with other important market players, we will actively employ the implementation of blockchain technology in the insurance industry to help upgrade market practice and reducing cost, and further enhance insurance services to our clients.”
Some would argue that China is ahead of the game when it comes to blockchain. Competitor Ping An Insurance is involved in numerous blockchain initiatives and owns one of the most active enterprise fintechs, OneConnect. Another insurance startup Zhong An is also a significant blockchain innovator. Zhong An is the technology partner for a Chinese reinsurance blockchain consortium formed a year ago.
And last year CPIC launched a solution for tracing e-invoices on the JD.com (China’s Amazon) blockchain platform.
For B3i, it’s been a busy six months. Five months ago it raised the first $20 million in the current funding round. A couple of months later, Japanese insurer and fintech investor SBI bought shares. The Zurich-based company also has a new CEO and did a soft launch for its first product, a Property Catastrophe Excess of Loss Reinsurance (CAT XL) product.
Current B3i shareholders are Achmea, Aegon, Ageas, Allianz, AXA, China Pacific Insurance Company, Deutsche Rück, Generali, Hannover Re, Liberty Mutual, Mapfre Re, Munich Re, SBI Group, SCOR, Swiss Re, Tokio Marine, VIG Re, and Zurich Insurance Group.