The world’s wealthiest investors have long realized the growth potential that hospitality & food companies offer. We rounded up some of the top start-ups the world’s most prominent billionaires are placing their bets on.
Jeff Bezos (Amazon): Airbnb and Plenty
Amazon has managed to become a force of disruption for many industries over the past years. The tech giant success has not only catapulted Mr. Bezos to the top of the list of the world’s richest individuals, it also enabled him to invest in many other companies on a large scale.
Among the list of investments, a notorious name in the hospitality sector pops up: Airbnb. The industry disruptor based out of San Francisco received total funding of USD 112 million from Bezos. This investment have further accelerated the home-sharing platform’s rapid growth.
Bezos is also investing in technologies that improve the world’s food supply through his funding of vertical farming company Plenty. Without the use of soil and even natural sunlight, this start-up is looking for new ways to feed the world’s growing population in an environment free of pesticides and GMOs.
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We believe in farming for a sustainable future. By growing indoors, we're able to produce more food using less water and land than traditional agriculture—and completely eliminate the need for GMO seeds or pesticides. Produce for people *and* the planet. 🍃🌎
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Bill Gates (The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) – Impossible Foods and Memphis Meat
With investments in sustainable food sourcing and alternative ways of producing meat, Bill Gates is looking to change the way the world eats.
For instance, investments totaling over 200 million USD are helping the California-based food start-up Impossible Foods to reach their goal of reducing the consumption of traditional meat and developing healthier and more economically responsible plant-based alternatives. The approach seems to be taking off: two months ago, White Castle, a US fast food chain with over 350 restaurants, announced the introduction of Impossible Food Sliders in all of their locations.
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“Is love the greatest gift?” ...Got a question, Earthling? Do as @KalPenn does and call #18334SLIDER to ask the @WuTangClan anything! And head to @WhiteCastle to try the #ImpossibleSlider @realghostfacekillah @RZA @TherealGza
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Another company following a similar strategy is Memphis Meat. Unlike Impossible Foods, this start-up is not looking to take meat off our menus. Instead, it is working on a technology that allows the production of meat from stem cells in a laboratory. The main challenges the company is facing at the moment are the high production costs due to the complexity of the process. However, scaling its operations will hopefully resolve this issue in the future so you might soon find yourself be biting into a lab-grown burger.
With consumers becoming more aware of our food consumption’s impact on personal health and the environment, these firms are leading the way into a more sustainable future.