U2’s album sales might not be what they once were, but Bono and The Edge are still hard at work in creating their legacy. The two band members have partnered up as investors in food-tech startup, Nuritas, an Irish company combining artificial intelligence and DNA analysis in the discovery of food-based nutritional supplements and pharmaceutical drugs.
According to Nuritas, the company uses the technology to “predict and provide access to the most health-benefiting components hidden within food called peptides that can manage and improve human health.”
The two-year-old company, helmed by Salesforce founder and CEO Marc Benioff and tech guru Ali Partovi, co-founder of Code.org, iLike, LinkExchange, and advisor to Dropbox, recently raised close to $4 million from the EU, but just how much the Irish rockers have invested has not yet been disclosed.
Nuritas’s goals for the funding include expanding its workforce in Ireland as well as U.S. expansion (it recently opened a San Francisco-based office). The company is currently working on trials for a “breakthrough” food ingredient that could be effective in preventing the onset of type-2 diabetes. Clinical trials are set to begin in the next 18 months.
“Bono and The Edge are no strangers to the startup world,” reports Fortune. “In 2004, Bono, whose real name is Paul Hewson, co-founded private equity firm Elevation Partners where he invested in companies like Facebook and Yelp. An early investor in Facebook, it’s estimated he walked away with approximately $43 million when the tech company went public.”
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In 2012, both Bono and The Edge invested in Dropbox, where Partovi was involved.
“When we first started talking with Nuritas, I was blown away with how their ideas could be used to significantly improve the health of billions of people globally,” The Edge said in a statement. “Using cutting-edge technology and really smart approaches to identify disease-beating peptides in food is something that has never been done before. To see this team unlock what nature has already created for the betterment of mankind, it’s just incredible. We want to bring forward and support innovative, world-changing ideas so this is a perfect fit.”
In 2012, Bono was outspoken in his support of the G8 initiative that was sending corporate aid to Africa. It was a controversial position as the program included genetically modified crops and companion herbicides and pesticides that posed serious risks to Africa’s crop diversity.
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