Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway just made another fintech investment

Warren Buffett waves to the crowd (Getty Images).
  • Berkshire Hathaway made a $US400 million investment in StoneCo, a Brazilian payments platform.
  • It follows an August investment of $300 million in Paytm, the fast-growing Indian mobile payment platform.
  • The investments were spearheaded by Todd Combs, one of Buffett’s top stock pickers.

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett is getting into fintech.

Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway now has investments in two emerging-market fintech startups, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Back in August, Berkshire bought a $US300 million stake in Paytm, the India-based mobile payments platform.

It followed an April investment in Paytm by Japanese conglomerate Softbank, which valued the startup at around $US2 billion.

Then last week, Berkshire bought shares in the initial public offering (IPO) Brazil-based payments provider StoneCo Ltd.

It marks a shift in the composition of Berkshire’s stock portfolio, which has traditionally focused on more established industries and companies.

And according to the WSJ, it wasn’t Buffett who was the driving force behind the deals.

That responsibility fell to Todd Combs, one of Berkshire’s chief stock pickers alongside Ted Weschler.

StoneCo listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange last week at a price of $US24, and its shares rose by more than 30% to $31.09 in the first two days of trade, before falling by 6.53% overnight.

According to the WSJ, Berkshire made an offer to buy 14.2 million shares in StoneCo at the listing price, which means its interest would currently be valued at around $US412 million.

While these investments appear to mark a small shift in Berkshire’s strategy, they aren’t Buffett’s first tech investment.

He made a large investment in IBM which didn’t pay off, as Berkshire liquidated its entire stake in the company in May this year.

And Berkshire is the third biggest holder of Apple shares, behind investment giants Vanguard and BlackRock.

The WSJ has more here.

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