Howard Warren Buffett, the grandson of billionaire financier and philanthropist Warren E. Buffett, has launched an investment company that mimics his forebear's financial approach but will capitalize firms that aim to tackle social problems, The New York Times reports.
Like the elder Mr. Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, i(x) Investments is a permanently capitalized operating company and aims to build a portfolio of ownership stakes across a range of industries. What's different is that the company will focus on early-stage and undervalued firms addressing issues such as clean energy and sustainable agriculture.
Philanthropy adviser and former Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation official Trevor Neilson, who co-founded i(x), said the new fund will start slow with small stakes in start-ups but plans to build to investing $100 million a year.
Making his first foray into finance at age 32, Howard W. Buffett said i(x) is "looking for that sweet spot" between earning profits and pursuing social good. "How do we improve society through these investments? How can we be creative with capital to address some of the greatest human needs?"