Could you beat Warren Buffett's Billion Dollar Bracket?
Berkshire Hathaway, the company owned by Warren Buffett has pledged to pay a billion dollars to the person who correctly picks the winner of all the men's tournament games during March Madness. Buffett has teamed up with Quicken Loans, who will be paying Buffett a premium in exchange for his promise to pay up. The premium has not been disclosed by either man.
"This will be the most fun. Just imagine if there’s one person left at the last game,” Buffett said Tuesday. “I will go to that final game with him or her and I’ll have a check in my pocket… I think we’ll be rooting for different teams.”
According to the Washington Post, Buffett said he pitched the idea of insuring a perfect bracket to Dan Gilbert, the founder of Quicken Loans and owner of Cleveland Cavaliers last fall. The competition is due to launch on March 3 to the first 10 million households that sign up online. It is reported that the winner can choose to either take 40 annual payments or a $500 million lump sum. Multiple winners would split the prize money.
On top of the grand prize, Quicken has also offered to give the 20 most accurate brackets $100,000 each, which can be used for buying, refinancing or remodeling a home. Quicken will run the contest and Berkshire Hathaway will provide security.
If this competition sounds too good to be true, you could be right. The contest rules for the Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge state that the odds of winning are one to 4,294,967,296. But, as the old saying goes, you have to be in it to win it. Good luck!
CB Insights: US Insurtechs Compete In A Now Global Market
In the first half of the year, insurtech companies around the world have raised US$7.4bn, nearly doubling their funding in Q2. According to Digital Insurance, insurtechs have raised US$4.8bn in Q2—an 89% increase in funding from Q1. But US firms are no longer the sole beneficiaries.
What Are the Stats?
Out of the 15 Q2 mega-rounds—those that top US$100mn—only eight included American firms. Pretty good, you might say. That’s over half! But US companies only made up 38% of the deals, which marks a 10% drop from Q1 and a 12% drop from 2020. Technically, therefore, US insurtechs are less influential than they’ve been in the past. But who says this is a bad development?
Despite my American citizenship, I’d argue that a more globally diverse insurance market is only for the best. Many of the world’s citizens who could most benefit from improved insurance services live outside of the States—and deserve local, tech-savvy services.
Why Does This Matter?
You’re always going to see the typical insurtech contenders from Western countries. For instance:
- German-based wefox: US$650mn Series C
- UK-based Bought By Many: US$350mn Series D
- US-based Collective Health: US$280mn Series F
But it’s critical that we address risk across the world. American insurtechs might be some of the most technologically skilled firms in the industry, but it’s not their first goal to address floods in Southeast Asia, crop destruction in China, and COVID complications in South Africa. That’s why we should celebrate that the recent Q2 round included insurtechs from 35 different countries.
According to CB Insights’ Q2 2021 Quarterly InsurTech Briefing, this was the first time that they’d observed insurtech activity in Botswana, Mali, Romania, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. And ‘from a product, service, distribution, and underlying risk perspective, we—as a society and as an industry—are moving at an unprecedented speed’, says Dr. Andrew Johnston, Global Head of Willis Re InsurTech.
Just ask CB Insights. InsurTech value propositions have resonated with the world.