- The investment arm of the world's largest private foundation revealed the new tech bets, valued north of $450 million in total, in a recent financial filing .
- The trust also trimmed its biggest holding, Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, likely to finance the foundation's efforts to combat coronavirus.
- The coronavirus sell-off fueled a 19% drop in the value of its portfolio to about $17.4 billion.
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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust placed big bets on technology titans in the first quarter, according to a recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing .
The trust, which manages the assets of the world's largest private foundation, revealed new positions in Apple, Amazon, Google-parent Alphabet, Alibaba, and Twitter. Its stakes in the first four were valued between $100 million and $130 million each on March 31, while its Twitter holdings were worth about $7 million.
The trust also revealed a $301 million stake in Schrodinger following the drug-discovery software group's public debut in February. The only other change to its portfolio was the sale of five million Berkshire Hathaway shares, representing 10% of its stake in Warren Buffett's conglomerate.
The cut to its biggest holding is no surprise: Buffett is a close friend of Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda, and gifts shares to their foundation each year to help finance its philanthropy.
Read More: Jefferies breaks down the top 22 stocks it thinks you should buy right now including 6 fast-risers that just captured its attention The trust's flurry of purchases did little to soften the blow from the coronavirus sell-off. Its portfolio shrunk in value by 19% to about $17.4 billion, as FedEx, UPS, Liberty Global, Walmart, and other holdings suffered share-price declines. Gates has emerged as a leading commentator on the COVID-19 outbreak due to his deep experience in fighting diseases and vaccinating populations, and his warning of a pandemic back in 2015 . The philanthropist recently said his foundation is giving " total attention " to the pandemic, and expects to spend billions constructing vaccine factories. Read More: The world's biggest investors are notoriously skeptical of the stock market's bet for a quick economic recovery and warning that the 'fantasy' rally will soon come crashing down NOW WATCH: Tax Day is now July 15 this is what it's like to do your own taxes for the very first time See Also: WeWork could falter as costs spiral and social distancing hits offices, the boss of a rival real-estate group said RBC handpicks 8 tech stocks that could continue to grow revenues during the crisis and are built like 'rocket ships' for the next boom 10 big-money investors each share the single market risk they think traders are overlooking right now