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‘Our Generation’s Berkshire Hathaway’: Chamath Palihapitiya

Via Business Insider, a look at how billionaire investor Chamath Palihapitiya is modeling his firm on Warren Buffett’s company:

Billionaire investor Chamath Palihapitiya wants to build his Social Capital firm into a tech-focused successor to Warren Buffett’s $400 billion conglomerate.

“My ambition is to be our generation’s Berkshire Hathaway,” the Virgin Galactic chairman said in a recent Fortune interview.

Palihapitiya ultimately expects to take Social Capital public, he said, and doesn’t envision it as a venture-capital firm.

“It’ll be a Berkshire, a holding company that, instead of holding Gillette and Coca-Cola and McDonald’s, will hold technology businesses,” he told Fortune.

Buffett’s Berkshire owns dozens of businesses including Geico, Duracell, and See’s Candies, and holds billion-dollar stakes in public companies such as Apple, Bank of America, and Coca-Cola. It sold its stake in Gillette to Procter and Gamble in 2005, and cashed out its McDonald’s shares in 1998.

Palihapitiya’s investments to date include Slack, Box, and SurveyMonkey. He also partnered with billionaire Richard Branson to take Virgin Galactic public using a “blank-check” company last year, and has raised almost $1.1 billion for two further blank-check companies.

The investor revealed in the interview that he’s been making “highly structured, high-volume bets” on credit markets in recent weeks.

Palihapitiya isn’t the first tech executive to try to emulate what Buffett has done with Berkshire:

  • Google bosses Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Eric Schmidt had the idea for Alphabet — the holding company that sits above Google, YouTube, Waymo and other businesses — when they visited Buffett more than a decade ago.
  • SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son — whose Vision Fund has invested in the likes of Uber, WeWork, and TikTok-owned ByteDance — said in 2017: “Warren Buffett in the technology industry, that is what I would like to become.”



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About This Blog And Its Author
Global Buffetts is dedicated to compiling a compendium of elite international money managers & investors.  While the U.S. is indeed home to a number of world-class financiers, the rapid economic development and dynamic rise of financial acumen around the world has changed the playing field in the past decades.  There are now a number of global "Buffetts" plying their trade & demonstrating their expertise in their own markets.  Often, however, there is little written about such individuals as most popular media is focused on the big names in U.S. investing.  This personal interest blog is one individual's attempt to uncover other elite money managers from around the world.

Educated at Yale University (Bachelor of Arts - History) and Harvard (Master in Public Policy - International Development), Monty Simus has lived, worked, and traveled in more than forty countries spanning Africa, China, western Europe, the Middle East, South America, and Southeast & Central Asia, and his personal interests comprise economic development, policy, investment, technology, natural resources, and the environment, with a particular focus on globalization’s impact upon these subject areas.  Monty writes about frontier investment markets at and geopolitical pressures in the global agricultural sector at