Bill Gates and Richard Branson have their sights on the mining sector — and investment opportunities for startups abound – by Holly Bridgwater (Smart – May 25, 2020)

Tech giants are on the hunt for investment opportunities in the mining sector, in a push that is destined to change the landscape of the resources industry.

Among those leading the charge are tech billionaires Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson — all backers of technology fund Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV). Last year, BEV joined forces with hedge fund a16z to invest in mineral exploration company KoBold Metals and its search for ‘ethical’ cobalt.

The billion-dollar fund was also instrumental in raising $20 million in Series A funding for Lilac Solutions, a mining technology company focused on transforming lithium production.

In isolation, these may seem like incidental snippets of mining news. But scratch the surface and a whole new world of investment — and potential for industry innovation and disruption — is revealed.

Gates, Bezos and Branson have all built their careers on innovation, thinking outside the box and pushing through disruptive change. And now they have set their sights on the mining sector.

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