While several companies have looked into fleeing New York City in the past year amid great tax hikes, increased crime rates, and the ongoing pandemic, Bill Gates is taking a different approach — to expand in it.
His most recent venture took place just before the pandemic hit, in early March 2020, when his fund, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, announced a $20 million Series A investment in the biotech company C16 Biosciences — which primarily focuses on lab-created palm oil.
At the biotech company’s founding in 2017, it first began working out of a small shared space at NYU Langone in Soho.
Following Gates’ backing, the company has purchased a 20,000-square-foot office space at the Hudson Research Center on the West Side, the Real Deal reported.
They are officially expected to make the move in August, which will include a pre-built lab space and office space, located on the seventh floor of 619 W. 54th St.
Gates, 65, has spent the past decade investing in environmentally friendly startups.
C16 Biosciences focuses on “environmentally friendly alternatives to palm oil,” the website states.
It goes on to explain how palm oil, which can be found in consumer products from deodorant to detergent, is a $61 billion industry that leaves an enormous environmental footprint.
Overall, the biotech industry is rapidly booming, valued at an estimated $752.88 billion in 2020, and is expected to increase by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.83% from 2021 to 2028.
Gates recently made headlines after it was discovered he had been quietly purchasing land across America, giving him the title of the largest farmland owner in the United States.
While Gates’ motive behind the purchases remains unclear — he is the third-richest person in the US with an estimated net worth of $124 billion — many suspect his long-standing interest in climate change and sustainability is the driving force behind it.