Thursday 8 December 2016

Bono invests in TPG fund

The Punt

Published 13/04/2015 | 02:30

These days Bono often looks more like a businessman with a sideline in singing than the other way round. U2 may be suffering from an artistic drought but Bono just keeps investing
These days Bono often looks more like a businessman with a sideline in singing than the other way round. U2 may be suffering from an artistic drought but Bono just keeps investing
The online takeaway ordering market in Ireland is worth an estimated €30m a year

These days Bono often looks more like a businessman with a sideline in singing than the other way round. U2 may be suffering from an artistic drought but Bono just keeps investing. The 'New York Post' reports that Bono's latest venture is to act as a special adviser to a new growth fund being raised by private equity mogul David Bonderman's TPG Capital.

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The 'Post' reports that Bono has invested about $3m in the TPG-owned car-pooling service Ride.

The singer is also an investor in the TPG Growth fund, which has a $3bn target. Bono already has links to the fund because he sits on the board of Fender Musical Instruments, which is owned by TPG Growth.

Bonderman is known in Ireland for his involvement in Ryanair but he is also a player in the entertainment world, using actors such as Ashton Kutcher to discover tech investments.

Kutcher is also an investor in the TPG Growth fund.

"Bono was sold because of TPG's investment in Uber," a source told the 'Post'. Bono's long friendship with TPG Growth head Bill McGlashan was also mentioned.

TPG Growth invested roughly $100m in Uber in 2013 when it was valued at $2.7bn.

Today, Uber is worth an eye-watering $40bn, according to some estimates.

TPG declined comment. Bono and Kutcher did not return calls.

TCD to stop grinding teeth

Like Cambridge or Stanford, TCD is exploiting its geographic position at the centre of a tech region to create weird and wonderful campus-based tech companies. The latest is SelfSense Technologies which uses new technology to prevent the ancient and annoying habit of teeth grinding.

The company is led by Dr Padraig McAuliffe and Professor Brian O'Connell from Trinity's dental hospital and Dr Ramesh Babu and Dr James Doyle from a Science Foundation Ireland-funded materials science centre based at Trinity.

They have secured a €100,000 investment to build an "intelligent mouth guard device" called SmartSplint which records and monitors teeth grinding.

The academics are clearly tapping into a big market; about half a million people here grind their teeth, leading in some case to headaches and worn crowns.

A slice of the takeaway action

We love it when senior executives move to companies that directly compete with their old employer.

There is something deliciously Machiavellian about it.

Employers hate it - hence, most senior executives have punitive anti-competitive clauses attached to their employment contracts. But they can't last forever.

The latest defector is James Galvin. He is the managing director of Marvin.ie, a new takeaway website that launches in May.

Marvin is taking on a big incumbent, the current market leader Justeat.ie, Galvin's former employer.

He was managing director at the Irish unit of pan-European Justeat from 2008 to 2011, building up the business from 33 orders per month to 50,000.

The online takeaway ordering market in Ireland is worth an estimated €30m a year, so there's a lot to play for. Galvin is already making strides. Marvin claims its commission fees are 42pc cheaper than Justeat's. It has also just signed up Apache Pizza, which has 94 stores around the country. "It's not right or fair that only one player can dominate the industry so much," says Galvin. "That's why having Apache Pizza's support at this time gives us a great start in our mission for stronger competition in Ireland."

Irish Independent

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