Meanwhile, the first and only life insurer with premiums in cryptocurrency, has announced roughly $19 million in financing across two seed rounds. The first was co-led by Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI and Lachy Groom, ex-Head of Stripe issuing, while Gradient Ventures led the second round of funding.
The aim of this funding is to allow Meanwhile to garner approval as a licensed and regulated life insurance company by the Bermuda Monetary Authority, as well as hire its initial team and launch its first product, Bitcoin (BTC)-denominated whole life insurance.
Other notable backers in insurance and crypto funding include Muoro Capital, MS&AD, and Hudson Structured Capital Management. Additional angel investors include Parker Conrad, Dylan Field, Nick Schrock, 6th Man Ventures, Sam Blond of Founders Fund, and Marc Bhavaga of General Catalyst, among others.
Zac Townsend, the Co-Founder and CEO of Meanwhile, has been building projects at the intersection of tech, finance, and policy for more than a decade. Commenting on Meanwhile, he said, “As one of the few innovations in money in the last century, Bitcoin is on track to become a global store of value and functional currency. When you combine that with artificial intelligence, we see the potential to build a full-stack life insurance company with the aim to reach over a billion people globally. To start, it makes perfect sense for long-term holders of BTC to invest in life insurance denominated in that asset and to enable a percentage of their BTC holdings to become active.”
Traditional insurers engage in “tedious and time-consuming” manual processes and reviews, with a typical policy taking weeks to be underwritten, according to the company. Utilizing AI-powered underwriting, claims, and operations, Max Gasner, CTO and co-founder of Meanwhile, and this team are building an efficient end-to-end insurance system reducing manual labour and aim to promote transparency. Meanwhile tries to bring a frictionless offering to one of the oldest financial products in the world, life insurance, by harnessing the power of AI and operating entirely in digital assets.
Anna Patterson, the Managing Partner at Gradient Ventures, said, “Meanwhile is sitting at the confluence of the AI and digital assets transformation. The team has an opportunity to change how consumers use digital money and set a new standard for tech-enabled life insurance providers. We’re excited to support Zac and Max on their mission.”
Some of the benefits of Meanwhile life insurance policies include a thoughtful approach to generational wealth transfer, enabling a transfer without passing on a huge tax burden by locking in today’s tax basis.
The policy has guaranteed growth, a guaranteed death benefit, and a guaranteed surrender value, Meanwhile can be part of a diversified portfolio of investments for long-term planning and succession. Clients are free to access the value of the policy whenever needed to check the policy’s liquidity with tax-free, low-interest loans and tax-free partial withdrawals.
Meanwhile aims to help people manage their financial lives through blockchain technology, with a tangible use case for Bitcoin. AI-powered underwriting, claims, and operations are faster, more efficient and transparent while removing human bias. Following its initial launch Meanwhile plans to build a full suite of cryptocurrency-denominated financial products, such as a BTC-denominated private credit fund and BTC-denominated term life and accidental death.
Jon Soberg, the Managing Partner of MS&AD Ventures said, “The insurance sector is often regarded as inefficient and adverse to new technologies, and frankly, that is true in many cases. Meanwhile flips this perception on its head, uniting both blockchain and AI to create a truly one-of-a-kind, dynamic life insurance program. We are delighted to participate in this funding round and look forward to seeing the unique financial products Meanwhile will unveil.”