What Businesses does Bill Gates Own? A Comprehensive List

Bill Gates is famously known for co-founding Microsoft, a company that revolutionized the tech industry. But what other businesses does he own? Gates is one of the wealthiest people in the world, and he has put his fortune to use by investing in a diverse range of companies and projects.

What Businesses does Bill Gates Own?

One of Gates’ most well-known endeavors outside of Microsoft is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which focuses on improving global healthcare and reducing poverty. The foundation has committed billions of dollars to initiatives such as eradicating diseases like polio and malaria, improving access to education, and supporting women’s empowerment. In addition, Gates has been vocal about his commitment to addressing climate change, and has invested in companies working on innovative green technologies.

The Business Empire of Bill Gates

Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, is one of the richest people in the world and the owner of a significant number of companies. He is also known for his investments in various businesses and startup ventures. In this section, we will take a closer look at the businesses owned by Bill Gates.

Cascade Investment LLC

Cascade Investment LLC is an investment and holding company controlled by Bill Gates. It manages Gates’ personal wealth as well as investments in businesses, including energy, real estate, and hospitality. Cascade Investment holds companies such as Canadian National Railway, Ecolab, Republic Services, and Otter Tail Corporation.


TerraPower is a nuclear energy innovation company co-founded by Bill Gates. The company aims to create sustainable, low-carbon energy from nuclear power. TerraPower is developing advanced nuclear reactors that can generate power without producing greenhouse gases.


Corbis is a digital image licensing and rights services company founded by Bill Gates in 1989. The company licenses images and other media to publishers, advertisers, and other businesses. In 2016, Corbis sold its image licensing division to Visual China Group.

Trillium Farms

Trillium Farms is an Ohio-based egg producer, of which Bill Gates is a part-owner. The company aims to produce high-quality, free-range eggs in an ethical and sustainable manner.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is a charitable organization co-founded by Gates and his wife. It funds various global health, poverty reduction, and education programs. The foundation has given out billions of dollars in grants to organizations around the world.

In addition to these companies and organizations, Bill Gates has also invested in a range of tech startups, pharmaceuticals, and biotech companies over the years. His business portfolio reflects his passion for innovative solutions and a desire to improve the world in meaningful ways.

Microsoft Corporation is undoubtedly one of the most well-known and influential companies in the world. Founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and his childhood friend Paul Allen, the company has remained at the forefront of the computer software industry ever since.

At its core, Microsoft is a software company. The majority of its revenue comes from its suite of business and productivity software, including the ubiquitous Microsoft Office 365. This suite includes software such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, which are used by millions of people around the world on a daily basis.

In addition to its software offerings, Microsoft has also ventured into hardware with its line of Surface tablets and laptops. While not as successful as its software products, the Surface line has received positive reviews for its innovative design and high-end specifications.

Beyond its core products, Microsoft has also made significant contributions to the tech industry as a whole. It was a pioneer in introducing graphical user interfaces in the 1980s with Windows, and its Internet Explorer web browser played a major role in popularizing the internet in the 1990s. Today, Microsoft is pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with artificial intelligence and cloud computing through its Azure platform.

All of these factors have contributed to Microsoft’s success over the years. As of 2021, the company is valued at over $2 trillion, making it one of the most valuable companies in the world. Its influence is felt not just in the tech industry, but in the global economy as a whole.

Table: Microsoft Corporation

Founder Bill Gates, Paul Allen
Founded April 4, 1975
Headquarters Redmond, Washington
Revenue USD 143.015 billion (2020)
Number of employees 181,000 (2021)
Website www.microsoft.com

Cascade Investment LLC is a privately held investment firm founded and owned by Bill Gates. The company’s main focus is managing Gates’ personal wealth and investments. According to reports, the firm has investments in numerous companies across multiple industries, including technology, energy, and healthcare.

Cascade Investment has a diverse investment portfolio, with holdings in companies such as Canadian National Railway, Ecolab Inc., and Republic Services Inc., among many others. The firm is known for taking a long-term investment approach, often holding onto its investments for years or even decades.

One of Cascade Investment’s most significant investments is in Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate led by Warren Buffett. Cascade is Berkshire’s largest shareholder, owning nearly 50% of the company’s Class B shares.

According to a report from Forbes, Cascade Investment has a portfolio worth over $20 billion. This value is likely to increase considering the firm’s recent investments in companies such as Televisa, one of the largest media companies in Mexico, and SUEZ, a French water treatment and waste management company.

Cascade Investment is also involved in philanthropic efforts, with Gates using the firm to direct donations towards charitable causes. In recent years, the firm has donated funds to organizations working on initiatives such as improving global health and reducing poverty.

In conclusion, Cascade Investment LLC is a privately held investment firm founded and owned by Bill Gates, focused on managing his personal wealth. It has a diversified portfolio with investments in various industries such as technology, energy, and healthcare. While taking a long-term investment approach, the firm has a portfolio worth over $20 billion and is involved in philanthropic efforts.

TerraPower LLC

TerraPower LLC is a nuclear energy company that was founded in 2006 by Bill Gates and a group of investors, with the aim of developing safe, clean, affordable, and sustainable nuclear power. The company is based in Bellevue, Washington, and has over 200 employees.

One of the key innovations of TerraPower is the concept of a traveling wave reactor (TWR) that can operate for decades without refueling, while generating electricity with the help of depleted uranium, a byproduct of traditional nuclear reactors. The TWR technology is designed to be safer, more efficient, and more environmentally friendly than conventional reactors, as it produces less waste and relies on passive cooling rather than active systems.

To achieve its goals, TerraPower has collaborated with various partners and governments around the world, such as the US Department of Energy, the China National Nuclear Corporation, and the Saudi Arabia Electricity and Co-Generation Regulatory Authority. The company has also attracted investments from influential figures like Peter Thiel and Jeff Bezos.

However, TerraPower has faced some challenges and setbacks in its pursuit of nuclear innovation. In 2018, the company shelved its plan to build a TWR demonstration reactor in China due to political and trade tensions between the US and China. In 2019, TerraPower announced that it would partner with GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy to develop a new type of small modular reactor (SMR) that can be mass-produced and customized for different applications.

Overall, TerraPower remains a promising player in the field of nuclear energy, with its focus on innovation, collaboration, and sustainability. The company’s vision is to provide access to reliable and affordable electricity for all, while reducing carbon emissions and preserving natural resources for future generations.

Corbis Corporation

Corbis Corporation is a digital media company founded in 1989 by Bill Gates, who later sold the company to Visual China Group in 2016. The company’s primary focus was on providing digital content to media outlets and creative professionals.

Corbis Corporation had an extensive collection of over 100 million images, videos, and music files from various sources, including the National Geographic Society, Ansel Adams, and the Bettmann Archive. The company’s collection was made accessible through its digital asset management platform, which allowed users to search, license, and manage digital content.

Apart from digital media services, Corbis Corporation also offered traditional licensing and rights representation services to photographers and artists. The company’s aim was to help artists and photographers protect their intellectual property rights and earn a fair share of royalties from their work.

In addition to its core business, Corbis Corporation also owned several subsidiary companies, including Outline Press Limited, a UK-based publisher of art and design books, and GreenLight, a global rights clearance and licensing agency for the advertising industry.

Overall, Corbis Corporation was a key player in the digital media services sector and played an influential role in shaping the industry. Its sale to Visual China Group marked the end of an era for the company, but its legacy lives on in the digital media landscape.

BG Strategic Advisors is a division of Bill Gates’ investment firm, Cascade Investment LLC. The division, which was established in 2010, focuses on creating investment opportunities for Gates and Cascade in promising sectors.

According to reports, BG Strategic Advisors has made a number of investments in successful businesses such as Republic Services and Waste Management, which both focus on waste management and recycling. The division has also invested in energy companies, including Ecolab Inc., which specializes in eco-friendly services and products.

In addition to its focus on sustainable investment opportunities, BG Strategic Advisors has also made investments in other companies, such as real estate company, CoreSite Realty Corporation, and upscale fitness center, Equinox.

Despite being a fairly small division within Cascade Investment LLC, BG Strategic Advisors has achieved significant success over the years, thanks in part to its strategic investment strategy. The division looks for businesses that are poised for growth in their respective industries and that have a particular focus on sustainability, social good, and environmental impact.

BG Strategic Advisors is just one aspect of Bill Gates’ diverse business holdings, which include a vast portfolio of stocks and a number of philanthropic organizations. However, it represents an important part of Gates’ focus on using his wealth and influence to promote positive change in the world.

ResearchGate is not a company owned by Bill Gates, but rather a platform for researchers and scientists to share and collaborate on their work. The website was founded in 2008 by Ijad Madisch, Sören Hofmayer, and Horst Fickenscher.

ResearchGate’s mission is to connect the world of science and make research accessible to all. The platform provides a way for researchers to connect with each other, share and discuss their work, and get feedback from peers. It also includes a job board and a feature for researchers to share datasets.

As of 2021, ResearchGate had over 20 million members and had been used to share over 135 million publications. The website generates revenue through advertising and a premium membership option that provides more storage and analytics tools.

One notable feature of ResearchGate is its controversial “score” system, which assigns a numerical score to researchers based on their publications and interactions on the platform. The system has faced criticism for how it calculates these scores and for potentially incentivizing researchers to participate more on the platform instead of focusing on their actual research.

Despite these controversies, ResearchGate has become a widely-used platform for researchers to connect and collaborate with each other. It has received investments from a variety of venture capital firms and has been praised for its potential to increase the accessibility of scientific research.

In summary, while Bill Gates does not own ResearchGate, the platform has become a significant tool for researchers and scientists around the world to collaborate and share their work.

Branded Entertainment Network

The Branded Entertainment Network (BEN) was founded in 2006 and is a subsidiary of a publicly-traded company, Bill Gates’ Cascade Investment LLC. BEN is a global advertising and licensing agency that connects influential brands with popular media such as movies, television, social media, and music. BEN helps to promote brand awareness among consumers, increase sales, and enhance the image of the brand through product placement, branded content, and influencer marketing.

BEN’s proprietary platform provides a data-driven approach to inform and engage consumers in real-time. It leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze brand performance and optimize clients’ messaging strategies. Through its influencer community, BEN connects brands with authentic, engaging voices in a variety of fields, such as entertainment, sports, and lifestyle.

BEN partners with over 2,000 global brands and content creators, including Universal Pictures, Netflix, and PepsiCo. BEN’s innovative approach to advertising has led to numerous accolades, including being named in Inc. 5000’s list of fastest-growing private companies, Adweek’s “Agency of the Year,” and the “Most Innovative Company in Advertising and Marketing” by Fast Company.

BEN’s success is underpinned by its ability to adapt and pivot to changing technologies and consumer demands. Its data-driven approach means it can create targeted campaigns that resonate with specific audiences. In a world where consumers are inundated with advertising, BEN’s unique approach has helped it stand out, creating a powerful niche in the advertising industry.

Founded 2006
Parent Company Cascade Investment LLC
Type Subsidiary
Services Advertising and Licensing
Industry Marketing and Advertising
Headquarters Los Angeles, California, USA
Website ben.productplacement.com

Overall, BEN demonstrates Bill Gates’ commitment to innovation and leveraging technology to create impactful solutions for brands in an evolving advertising landscape.

Berkshire Hathaway

Berkshire Hathaway is an American multinational conglomerate holding company owned by Warren Buffett, who is considered one of the world’s greatest investors, and Bill Gates. While it is not a business owned solely by Bill Gates, he has been a member of its board of directors since 2004, and he owns approximately 6.9% of Berkshire Hathaway’s stock.

The company has a diverse portfolio of subsidiaries, which range from insurance, energy, industrial manufacturing, consumer products, and wholesale trade, and services. Berkshire Hathaway’s subsidiaries include GEICO, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, McLane Company, and Business Wire, among others.

Perhaps one of Berkshire Hathaway’s most well-known subsidiaries is the clothing company Fruit of the Loom, which is famous for its line of underwear, t-shirts, and other clothing items. Other subsidiaries include Duracell, Benjamin Moore & Co., and NetJets, which is a private jet provider.

Berkshire Hathaway’s portfolio also includes investments in other companies, such as Coca-Cola, American Express, and Apple. According to Forbes, in 2021, Berkshire Hathaway had revenues of $245.5 billion, with a net income of $42.5 billion.

Overall, Berkshire Hathaway is a massive conglomerate with a diverse portfolio of subsidiaries in various industries, including insurance, energy, manufacturing, and consumer products. While Bill Gates is not the sole owner of the company, his position on its board of directors and his stock holdings make him a significant player in the conglomerate’s operations.

The Business Ventures of Bill Gates – Conclusion

In conclusion, while Bill Gates is widely known for co-founding Microsoft Corporation and revolutionizing the computer software industry, his business ventures go beyond software and technology. Through his investment company, Cascade Investment LLC, Gates has diversified his portfolio and invested in a range of industries.

From owning a substantial portion of Canadian National Railway to becoming the largest private farmland owner in the United States, Gates has proven to be a savvy investor with an eye for long-term growth potential. In addition, he has established himself as a prominent philanthropist through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which focuses on global health and education initiatives.

Overall, Bill Gates’ business ventures reflect his innovative spirit and commitment to making a positive impact on the world. While his involvement in some industries may come as a surprise to those who only know him for Microsoft, it’s clear that his investments and philanthropic efforts will continue to shape the future for years to come.

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