Several crypto startups are aiming to disrupt insurance. How do they stack up against each other?

9 startups compared on dimensions ranging from the high level vision to the current token market cap.

The multi-trillion-dollar insurance industry is facing a blockchain disruption. But finding out what is really going on is trickier than you might think.

Why? Firstly, there are blockchain projects running inside international insurance corporations which are mostly hidden from the public eye. Secondly, it is difficult to see the progress within crypto startups against their business ideas and it’s difficult to see how they stack up against each other.

At Cofound.it, we have been working with blockchain startup Etherisc for almost a year and needed to understand the rest of crypto players in insurance.

And as we dug deeper into the insurance industry we often found ourselves plagued with seemingly more and more questions: Is there a relevant project we don’t know about? How is Project X progressing after their token sale? To answer such questions, we are developing a tool to help the community analyse an industry comprehensively (more information to come).

At this stage we’d like to share this initial overview of the main crypto players in insurance with you. And we would love your feedback.

As you read through it, let us know your thoughts. Is the information relevant? Is something missing? Is there something you’d like to see more or less of? Would you like to have more complicated topics covered as well e.g. the token model? Please share your thoughts in the comments or join the conversation on our Telegram channel.

The main players, their high level vision and product development status

Who are they? What are they working on? How far have they come?

We focused on the projects that are listed on CoinMarketCap and those that have announced significant token sales in the near future. The projects’ high-level visions range from platforms with patent-based products to protocols and insurance marketplaces. Most of the companies are still in very early stages of product development. The exceptions to the rule, Etherisc and PolicyPal will soon be serving the market with flight delay insurance dApps (Etherisc FDD page, PolicyPal announcement). Several other products are at an earlier stage of development such as Aigang’s battery insurance PoC, crop and social insurance prototypes by Etherisc and InsurChain’s beta wallet.

An overview of the size and structure of teams within the industry

Do they have the competencies and manpower to deliver?

Based on website data, Etherisc, PolicyPal and Vernam have the most sizable, well-rounded teams. The Aigang team is small and tech heavy, while most Black Insurance team members are business oriented.

*The project website was used as the master source for all projects except iXLedger, where LinkedIn provided more members than the website.

A brief overview of team members on the website and consistency with LinkedIn profiles

Are team members publicly committed to the project? Is the team size over-reported?

The consistency of information across between websites and LinkedIn is low. Vernam, Insurepal PolicyPal and InsurChain have significantly fewer team members’ Linkedin profiles than people listed on their website.

*Not included: advisors and people who are not listed on website (master source) as team members, but hold an associated profile on LinkedIn (e.g. ex-employees) with the exception of iXledger.

Token sales timeline and fundraising success

Who raised the money first and who is still about to do it? How successful were they?

The earliest crypto project in insurance to have raised funds at a public token sale was Aigang in November 2017, just before the big bull run. It managed to raise less than 15% of hardcap, while Insurepal and PolicyPal both hit the ceiling in January and March 2018 respectively, raising $8 M and more.

We were not able to obtain reliable data on InsurChain and Zeusshield token sales that were conducted in the past. The rest of the projects are still preparing for their token sales.

Token market cap and exchange listings

How does the market currently value the tokens? Where are they traded?

Market capitalisation (based on total token supply) varies a lot across the six projects that have tokens listed on exchanges. Zeusshield tokens are valued at close to $70 M at current prices while Aigang’s token market capitalisation is around $2 M. Tokens are listed on diverse exchanges, but many are traded on HitBTC.

Size of supporter communities and media coverage achieved

Who is getting the biggest buzz? Is it mainstream media or just the crowd?

Still pre-ICO, Vernam and Black Insurance projects have attracted the strongest Telegram community. iXledger is relatively popular with Twitter followers, while Etherisc as one of the earliest projects has attracted a relatively small community, but is the only one that has been covered extensively by reputable media.

Etherisc has been featured in mainstream business (Forbes, International Business Times 1, International Business Times 2, International Business Times 3), crypto (Coindesk 1, Coindesk 2, Cointelegraph) and insurance-focused media (Insurtech Insider, Insurance Journal,). The founders of iXLedger (Bloomberg) and PolicyPal (Forbes) have also received mainstream media coverage. Insurepal has quantitatively the richest coverage, but mostly PR releases. We have not found much written in English about Vernam, InsurChain and Zeusshield.

An overview of legal setup

Who is the ultimate beneficiary of the token sale contributions and potential profits generated?

Two projects (Etherisc, InsurChain) have issued their tokens under the umbrella of a not-for-profit foundation. Others are mostly incorporated as limited liability companies in crypto-friendly jurisdictions (Singapore, Estonia, Liechtenstein). Zeusshield is incorporated in the US and Vernam in its founders’ native Bulgaria.

We hope we have given you enough information to help you start to distinguish some of the key differences between the main players in the industry. What do you think? Is there something that was particularly helpful or have we missed something out? Scroll down to add your comments and/or join the conversation on our Telegram channel.