Bono had a hand in creating many hit songs and made a lot of money as part of U2. What he has done with that money is also impressive. He is one of six co-founders of the private equity firm Elevation Partners. Founded in 2004, this firm has assets of nearly two billion dollars.
Elevation Partners have invested in many big name companies. They invested $300 million to create a partnership between video game developers Bioware and Pandemic. They would later go on to buy them both for $860 Million.
Bono’s firm also has a 40% share of Forbes, which they bought for approximately $300 million.
Elevation also looked into investing in the Wikimedia Foundation. Wikimedia is the US based non-profit famous for for hosting Wikipedia. The company’s other co-founder Roger McNamee donated $300,000 to them personally. He even helped them network with several other people who donated a combined $500,000.
Even more astounding than the above, they own a significant fraction of Facebook (reports range from 1.5% to 2.3%). This share is worth billions, meaning Bono is typically making more money from Elevation Partners than from U2. Through prudent management by a small team, Elevation Partners has recently earned 11% per annum on its investments.
As a philanthropist, Bono often shares this wealth with those who need it. One of his best-known causes is a charity he founded called DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa), which helps African nations solve some of their pressing issues.