Company raises funding led by DCM and moves into major markets to empower senior citizens to take control of their financial futures
July 17, 2018 10:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time
SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today Mason Finance, a fintech start-up that provides people with the option to quickly and easily sell their life insurance policy, announced it is now licensed to perform life insurance settlements in California, Arizona, North Carolina, Tennessee and Pennsylvania. With this announcement, Mason Finance now operates in Washington DC and 12 states in the U.S. including: Alabama, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wyoming.
State licensure to purchase and sell life insurance policies, also known as life settlements, is difficult to acquire. There are 290 million life insurance policies in force in the U.S., about $12 trillion worth (source), yet very few companies are licensed to buy life insurance policies from consumers, should they want to sell their policy. In California, for example, Mason joins fewer than 30 other companies that are licensed to perform life settlements.
Additionally, the company announced new financial backing, a seed round led by DCM with participation from Kleiner Perkins, the Financial Health Network Financial Solutions Lab with founding partner JPMorgan Chase, Village Global, Core Innovation Capital, Abstract, and several angel investors such as Simon Rothman, eBay Motors founder and former Tesla board member.
Founded in late 2017, Mason Finance was created to provide older Americans with the option to realize value in their life insurance policies and alleviate financial pressure for retirees. Mason Finance’s technology streamlines the life insurance policy selling process, making it more transparent for consumers, and dramatically reducing the time, cost, and complexity of selling a life insurance policy while fully disclosing terms and conditions for seniors to understand how policy sales work.
“I commend Mason Finance for its innovative and new approach to making life settlements available to seniors whose life insurance policies are at risk of lapsing or who need to access the value of their life insurance policy immediately,” said California Insurance Commissioner, Dave Jones. “As Insurance Commissioner, my first priority is protecting consumers while ensuring a vibrant and healthy insurance marketplace. It’s encouraging to see companies, like Mason Finance, developing innovative products and business models designed to better serve the needs of Californians.”
According to ThinkAdvisor, eighty-six percent of Americans don’t realize that they have the option to sell their life insurance policies to bring in crucial income to cover their urgent expenses. In fact, seniors over 65 lose $112 billion annually on policies lapsing or surrendered back to life insurance companies (source). This is crucial income that could have been used to support their retirement and financial planning goals.
“It’s shocking that the vast majority of Americans aren’t aware that their life insurance policy is an asset, much like their homes. When policyholders default on their payments, they risk losing the policy and their investment and yet haven’t been told that there is a better option,” said Felix Steinmeyer, CEO of Mason Finance. “Mason Finance aims to shed light on options available that can empower seniors and their families with knowledge and tools that will help them take control.”
According to the National Council on Aging, more than 25 million Americans over 60 years old are economically insecure—living at or below the federal poverty level. Many will default on their life insurance policy payments in order to pay medical bills or make mortgage payments, forfeiting the investment they’ve made in their policy.
The problem of economic insecurity for seniors is predicted to grow. Every day more than 10,000 baby boomers hit retirement age (Pew) and sixty-two percent of them expect Social Security to provide more than half of their income. In reality, Social Security benefits will only replace about 40% of their income (NHP Foundation Survey). Additionally, according to the Insured Retirement Institute, seven in ten Baby Boomers maintain an emergency fund of $5,000 or less and 17% of Baby Boomers say they will need to rely on family if their financial resources are exhausted in retirement.
“We invested in Mason Finance because we see a huge opportunity to help baby boomers and recent retirees who are not being served well by the traditional banking and insurance providers today,” said David Chao, co-founder and general partner DCM. “A critical mass of seniors are now online, on smartphones and Facebook looking to engage with new financial products in a fundamentally different way than prior generations. We believe traditional financial services incumbents are not adopting fast enough for this generation and we see a lot of opportunity for Mason Finance as a result.”
Mason Finance offers a free retirement calculator and life insurance settlement calculator on their website to help consumers better understand their options. For more information about Mason Finance, visit www.masonfinance.com.
About Mason Finance
Mason Finance, headquartered in San Francisco, California, is empowering senior citizens to take control of their life insurance policies and financial futures by providing them with the option to quickly and easily sell their life insurance policy. It offers life settlements and viatical settlements. To best serve its customers, it also shares proprietary policy flow in select states with industry partners. The company was founded in 2017 by Felix Steinmeyer and Charles Mourani, two graduates of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and has raised funding led by DCM with participation from Kleiner Perkins, Village Global, Core VC, Abstract, and several angel investors. Mason Finance is hiring!
DCM is a global venture capital firm based in Silicon Valley, Beijing, and Tokyo with more than $3 billion under management. DCM has invested in more than 300 early stage technology companies across the United States and Asia, and provides hands-on operational guidance and a global network of business and financial resources. DCM has backed industry leading companies including 51job, 51Talk, 58.com, About.com, BitAuto, Clearwire, Dangdang, eDreams, Fortinet, Happy Elements, Kakao Talk, Renren, Sling Media, Tuniu, and Vipshop. DCM has also invested in exciting, up and coming startups such as Bill.com, Careem, DerbySoft, DXY, Eaze, FiveStars, FreedomPop, Freee, FuboTV, Kuaishou, Musical.ly, Sansan, SoFi, SSqian, TanTan, Ucloud, and YouXinpai.
Mighty PR on behalf of DCM