Bono on Facebook IPO: ‘This boy is not a billionaire, or richer than any Beatle’

Updated
By Sam Go

During an interview with NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, U2 frontman Bono denied reports of becoming the world’s richest musician.

The singer’s private equity firm bought $90 million worth of shares in Facebook in 2009. With the social network going public Friday, the estimated worth of those shares is now over $1.5 billion. 

“Contrary to reports, this boy is not a billionaire or richer than any Beatle,” he said.

Bono explained that while his firm Elevation Partners owns 2.3 percent of the social network, the company invests other people’s money in endowments and pension funds -– so the profits don’t go directly to his pocket.  “We do get paid, and that is a good thing.”

The singer claims says that he already feels blessed, but not because he is involved with the biggest tech IPO in tech history. “I’ve felt rich when I was 20 years old and my wife was paying the bills.”

As a musician, he explained that he is fascinated with technology because he is interested in “forces that shape the world.”

“That zeitgeist? I’m always chasing that.” 

Facebook is not the only technology company in Elevation Partners’ portfolio. Bono also mentioned investing in Yelp and Dropbox.

While the singer wouldn’t address Mitchell’s questions on Facebook’s revenue model and long-term financial viability, Bono said that he believes in the power of the social network.

“It’s technology that brings people together and helps people keep in touch with family and friends.” He also recounted its role in North Africa and the Arab Spring. 

“I think Facebook is only beginning. That’s my own view,” he added.

Bono was in Washington D.C. to attend a White House-backed global food summit hoping to stem hunger in Africa. 

 

 

Bono on Facebook IPO: 'This boy is not a billionaire, or richer than any Beatle'

Updated