Football Star Chris Smalling Is Making It Easy For Fellow Celebrities To Invest In Planet-Friendly Startups
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Chris Smalling, AC Roma centre-back and former England football team professional, has launched a global investment consultancy. ForGood is a joint venture between Smalling, activist investor Sebastiano Cossia Castiglioni and B-Corp creative agency founder Rebecca Wheeler. Fellow international sportspeople, celebrities and musicians are invited to participate, becoming ‘Changemakers’ in the process of investing.
ForGood will seek to invest exclusively in startups and entrepreneurs addressing environmental issues, with a focus ambitious and disruptive propositions that help fight the ever-worsening climate crisis. ForGood is looking to invest between £50,000 to £1 million-plus into startups in the pre-seed, seed and Series A phases.
Leveraging the power of celebrity
Smalling is committed to getting more high profile personalities involved in environmentally progressive projects and use their influence for positive climate action. ForGood will act as the middleman, making it simple for ‘changemakers’ to invest in opportunities that are both profitable and offer planetary benefit.
“I want to look back on my life as someone who achieved lots on the pitch, but also someone who made a difference on a much greater scale,” Smalling said. “We’re on a simple but huge mission to transform the world for the better and drive a global movement for good. Investing in a more sustainable future shouldn’t have any barriers, and at ForGood we believe that connecting people with a common cause has the power to bring change on a global scale. We want to play a key role in accelerating an ecosystem that actively invests and champions the next generation of responsible businesses, with the ambition to drive a movement of doing things ‘for good’.”
Smalling will lean on his own experience of investing in planet and health-friendly startups. The footballer turned plant-based six years ago and wants to share his insights with similarly powerful investors. To date he has backed vegan meal delivery service allplants, natural energy drink brand Virtue Drinks and Piñatex, the pineapple alternative to animal leather.
A planet-friendly portfolio
The team at ForGood comprises of investment experts, strategists, food scientists and brand marketing professionals, allowing for broad, holistic views on potential investments. Castiglioni leads from the front, with his experience in plant-based business investment and venture capital fund heritage. He previously founded Vegan Capital and co-founded Plantesis and Natural Order Acquisition Corp.
“The future of our children and our planet depends on us and on the choices we make right now, today, not tomorrow. ForGood is on a mission to promote intelligent, radical change, rethinking supply chains and production systems. With the aim of ending animal suffering, and by promoting a cruelty-free, healthy, vegan lifestyle, we will inspire and support a new generation of entrepreneurs and businesses,” Castiglioni said in a statement. “ForGood is committed to building a portfolio of exciting companies and ideas, who share our values and ethics. I’m honoured to be working alongside Chris, Rebecca and our Changemakers, and to be part of a team that’s focused on empathy, progress, and change.”
ForGood’s portfolio of eleven companies includes Europe’s fastest-growing alternative meat brand Heura, natural laundry startup Dirty Labs, vegan pet food company The Pack and Matthew Kenney Cuisine. Each is supported by ForGood’s consultancy arm that offers brand growth services, led by Wheeler.
Celebrities supporting the companies of tomorrow
Influential personalities and celebrities investing in the plant-based and sustainable sector are becoming a trend, with the likes of Beyond Meat and Future Farm welcoming big name celebrity brand ambassadors Kim Kardashian and Anitta, respectively.
Leonardo DiCaprio is amongst the most prolific serial plant-based investors, regularly lending his support to food techs that offer planet-friendly alternatives to conventional meat and dairy foods. His most recent investment came in early May when it was announced he had backed Lewis Hamilton’s vegan Neat Burger chain. Participating in the restaurant’s Series B raise as a strategic investor, he commented that the burger startup was the kind of alternative protein interest that will shape real change and result in global emissions reductions. It followed an announcement declaring that he had joined Californian alternative dairy giant Perfect Day’s sustainability council as an advisor.
DiCaprio has also backed cultivated meat and seafood firms, including Wildtype, plus environmental documentary Fin.
Lead photo by Chris Smalling/Instagram.