Meanwhile Digital Asset-Denominated Life Launches with $19M Funding

The fully BTC-denominated life insurer funded by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and Google-Backed Gradient Ventures leverages AI to offer efficient solutions.

(Image credit: Shutterstock.)

Meanwhile, a Bermuda based startup describing itself as the first and only life insurer with premiums in cryptocurrency has announced approximately $19 million in financing across two seed rounds, the first co-led by Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI (San Francisco), and Lachy Groom, previous head of Stripe Issuing, and with Gradient Ventures (Mountain View, Calif.) in the top spot during the second round. The funding allows 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.

Zac Townsend, Co-Founder and CEO, Meanwhile.

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, according to a Meanwhile statement.

“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,” comments Zac Townsend, Co-Founder and CEO, Meanwhile. “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.”

Max Gasner, Co-Founder and CTO, Meanwhile.

Meanwhile says that, by harnessing the power of AI and operating entirely in digital assets, it is able to bring a frictionless offering to one of the oldest financial products in the world, life insurance. “Traditional insurance companies engage in tedious and time-consuming manual processes and reviews, with a typical policy taking weeks to be underwritten,” the Meanwhile statement says. The company reports that by utilizing AI-powered underwriting, claims, and operations, Max Gasner, co-founder CTO, and this team are building a  highly-efficient end-to-end insurance system reducing manual labor and promoting transparency.

“Meanwhile is sitting at the confluence of the AI and digital assets transformation,” comments Anna Patterson, Managing Partner, Gradient Ventures. “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.”

Anna Patterson, Partner, Gradient Ventures.

“The insurance sector is often regarded as inefficient and adverse to new technologies, and frankly, that is true in many cases,” comments Jon Soberg, Managing Partner of MS&AD Ventures. “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.”

Meanwhile says the key benefits of its life insurance policies include the following:

A thoughtful approach to generational wealth transfer. Pass wealth to the next generation without passing on a huge tax burden by locking in today’s tax basis.

A policy with guaranteed value. With guaranteed growth, a guaranteed death benefit, and guaranteed surrender value, Meanwhile can be part of a diversified portfolio of investments for long-term planning and succession.

Access the value of your policy whenever you need. Tap into the policy’s liquidity with tax-free, low-interest loans and tax-free partial withdrawals.

Following its initial launch, Meanwhile says it 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.

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Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For nearly two decades, he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached at or (503) 936-2803.

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