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Bill Gates, TPG and Others Line up Big Dough for Breakthroughs


Billionaire philanthropist and founder of Microsoft Bill Gates has formed a US$ 1 billion investment fund called Breakthrough Energy Ventures. This comes after Bill Gates, in November 2015, revealed a Breakthrough Energy Coalition of billionaires and business leaders who stated they were committed to investing in new forms of energy. The fund will invest in all forms of emissions-free energy, embarking on multiple-scenario approach. The fund is targeting a number of technologies to tackle greenhouse gas emissions in areas such as electricity, manufacturing, transportation, buildings and food. The fund aims to have a 20-year term, much longer than traditional venture capital or private equity fund terms. Bill Gates also wants to see ventures either show progress or quickly fail. A slate of global billionaires and investors have joined in. The fund also could work with corporate partners in the traditional energy space such as Total SA.

Here are the investors:

Investor Title Company / Relation Country Fund Board Member
Bill Gates Co-chair Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation United States Chairman
Mukesh Ambani Chairman and Managing Director Reliance Industries Limited India Board Member
Hasso Plattner Co-founder SAP SE Germany Board Member
Jack Ma Executive Chairman Alibaba Group China Board Member
John Arnold Co-chair Laura & John Arnold Foundation United States Board Member
John Doerr Chairman Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers United States Board Member
Vinod Khosla Founder Khosla Ventures United States Board Member
Chris Hohn Founder The Children’s Investment Fund United Kingdom  
Dustin Moskovitz & Cari Tuna Co-founders Good Ventures United States  
HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Chairman Alwaleed Philanthropies Saudi Arabia  
Jeff Bezos Founder & CEO Amazon United States  
Julian Robertson Founder & Chairman Tiger Management United States  
Masayoshi Son Founder, Chairman & CEO SoftBank Group Corporation Japan  
Michael Bloomberg CEO Bloomberg LP United States  
Ms. Zhang Xin & Mr. Pan Shiyi Co-founder & CEO, Chairman SOHO China China  
Nat Simons & Laura Baxter-Simons Co-founders Prelude Ventures United States  
Patrice Motsepe Founder & Executive Chairman African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) South Africa  
Ray Dalio Founder Bridgewater Associates United States  
Reid Hoffman Co-founder LinkedIn United States  
Richard Branson Founder Virgin Group United Kingdom  
Xavier Niel Founder Illiad Group France


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Ardian Auctions Off €1 Billion in Infrastructure Assets to APG

French private equity giant Ardian has auctioned off an undisclosed stake in a portfolio of European infrastructure assets valued at €1 billion to Dutch asset owner manager APG Investments. APG, which first invested in the portfolio in 2006, plans on buying out partnership interests in the portfolio held by other investors. French multinational insurance firm AXA SA will retain its stake as a co-owner of the portfolio alongside APG, with Ardian staying on as asset manager and advisor. The transaction remains subject to regulatory approval.

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Tribal Council Approves Cherokee Nation Sovereign Wealth Fund Act

Tahlequah, Oklahoma-based Cherokee Nation Tribal Council approved the creation of the Cherokee Nation Sovereign Wealth Fund Act to establish a fund to ensure the continuation of tribal operations and the general welfare of tribal citizens.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Temasek Participates in Series D Round in Chinese Mafengwo Travel Platform

Image Source: Screenshot from Website – December 12, 2017

Chinese social travel platform Mafengwo has raised US$ 133 million in a Series D funding round with aid from new investors, including private equity investor General Atlantic, tourism-centric Ocean Link, the Yuantai Changqing venture capital fund, Hopu Investment Management, and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings. Existing investors Capital Today, Qiming Venture Partners, and Hillhouse Capital also participated in the latest funding round.

Founded in 2010 by chief executive Gang Chen and chief operations officer Gang Lv in 2010, Mafengwo is popular among the Chinese millennial demographic, who use the app to look up travel information and booking services for nearly 60,000 destinations around the world. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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