(Bloomberg) -- Check out these hot new ventures: Ethena, 100Plus, Kalshi.
Maybe you’ve never heard of them, but a big name on Wall Street has: billionaire Henry Kravis.
In recent months, the KKR & Co. co-founder has invested millions of dollars in the startups, part of a decade-long drive to sink more of his personal wealth into young, fast-growing companies.
Win or lose, his personal picks offer insight into the mind of one of Wall Street’s most successful private equity investors, who formally handed over the reins at KKR in October.
Read more: Kravis Signs Off as Next Generation Rises in Private Equity
Insiders say he isn’t going anywhere, but he’s building up his own venture portfolio. It already includes stakes in no fewer than 25 tech-heavy startups in areas from crypto to prediction markets to food and delivery apps.
Kravis, 78, certainly has a lot of money at his disposal, with a net worth of $11 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He frequently invests alongside other industry heavyweights like Stan Druckenmiller and Jeffrey Katzenberg, as well as Silicon Valley giants.
To help scout for startups and manage his growing portfolio, Kravis has hired Jed Lenzner, a 32-year-old venture capitalist who spent time at Allen & Co., the boutique investment bank known for its annual “meeting of the moguls” in Sun Valley, Idaho, where Kravis has long been a regular.
Lenzner, with a background in artificial intelligence, is joining Kravis from New York-based VC firm Tusk Venture Partners.
Kravis and Lenzner declined to comment.
Kravis isn’t the only private equity titan to embrace venture investing on the side. David Rubenstein and David Bonderman, through their family offices, have made bets on companies including a space-infrastructure developer and a furniture-rental startup.
Outside of tech, Kravis has placed his money into a notable art collection, which includes masterpieces by Monet and Renoir. He and his wife, Marie-Josee, also make charitable gifts to institutions such as Claremont McKenna College and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
While the bets Kravis is making with his personal fortune pale in comparison to KKR’s multibillion-dollar deals, these startups and other early-stage companies eventually may provide him with big payoffs.
Kravis was an early backer of ParaFi Capital, a blockchain specialist that powers cryptocurrencies. A former KKR employee founded the company in 2018, and the private equity firm also acquired a stake last year.
Read more: KKR Makes First Blockchain Investment With ParaFi Fund Stake
Kalshi, an exchange dedicated to trading on future events, became federally regulated and got $30 million in February from Kravis and other investors, including Sequoia Capital and Charles Schwab.
KKR, which manages $429 billion of assets, also has pushed more into growth and tech investments.
An earlier investment in AppLovin Corp., which makes software for mobile-gaming developers, could reap a huge payoff. KKR put $400 million into the company in 2018. Now its stake is worth billions.
©2022 Bloomberg L.P.