Berkshire Hathaway’s branching out
The Hustle

Berkshire Hathaway’s branching out

The Wall Street Journal reports that Berkshire Hathaway has invested $600m in 2 big fintech companies focusing on emerging markets: StoneCo, a Brazilian payments service, and One97 Communications, the parent company of Indian mobile payments company Paytm. Why is this...


October 30, 2018

The Wall Street Journal reports that Berkshire Hathaway has invested $600m in 2 big fintech companies focusing on emerging markets: StoneCo, a Brazilian payments service, and One97 Communications, the parent company of Indian mobile payments company Paytm.

Why is this a big deal?

Because ‘emerging’ and Berkshire go together like oil and water

Berkshire’s bread-and-butter is US-based companies with century-long records of stable growth like Coca-Cola, or utilities companies.

Buffett has also spoken out against investing in IPOs compared with market-tested companies.

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But, Buffett himself has admitted that Berkshire’s been hoarding way more cash (to the tune of $111B) than it’s been investing… 

And now Todd ‘Diddy’ Combs is pimpin’ all over the world

(OK, we’re the only ones who call him that.)

Combs invested nearly $300m in Stone’s IPO last week and around $300m in Paytm in August. And, as one of BH’s 2 portfolio managers, Combs and his partner in crime Ted Weschler have been expanding the company’s horizons.

However, WSJ points out both Paytm and Stone share qualities of a typical Berkshire investment, including dominating their respective markets: Stone is the 4th-largest payment processor in Brazil by volume and Paytm has more users than Paypal has globally. 

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