Robert Downey Jr. Launches Venture Fund To ‘Catalyse’ Sustainable Tech Investment

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Hollywood actor Robert Downey Jr. has formed a new venture fund focused on sustainable technology. Launched on AngelList, the new rolling fund FootPrint Coalition Ventures aims to “catalyse more capital” to multiply the impact of tech-forward climate solutions and innovations, said Downey Jr. 

Announcing the launch during a high level panel at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Digital Davos Agenda last week, Robert Downey Jr. said that the mission of the new fund FootPrint Coalition Ventures is to accelerate “groundbreaking” technologies aimed at solving some of the world’s biggest environmental issues. The rolling fund is launched on AngelList, where outside investors accredited on the platform are able to invest smaller sizes of capital, starting at US$5,000 on a monthly subscription basis, an approach that democratises venture funding. 

“We want to turn complex subjects into culture-defining content, and offer our audience an opportunity to invest with us. And so we are now opening up to outside investment by launching a rolling fund in partnership with AngelList,” explains the Oscar-nominated Iron Man actor. 

When asked about his decision to start the fund, Downey Jr. said that there is simply no time to waste when it comes to climate change, and that innovative sustainable technologies are needed now more than ever before. 

We want to turn complex subjects into culture-defining content, and offer our audience an opportunity to invest with us. And so we are now opening up to outside investment by launching a rolling fund in partnership with AngelList.

Robert Downey Jr.

“Having spent the last 18 months in dialogue with scientists, engineers and technologists, I now have a firm grasp of the obvious: this global existential threat is not something that’s going to be solved by a smattering of elite mega-corporations. I think that paradigm must be smashed in favor of innovation by a broad set of new companies.” 

“Investment in sustainable technology is a critical pathway toward the discovery and scaling of better solutions for our planet. We need to mobilise more people and catalyse more capital,” Downey Jr. explained. 

Other rolling funds on AngelList that are focused on sustainability include clean energy and food tech focused Prithvi Ventures, and alternative protein venture fund Sustainable Food Ventures (SFV).

FootPrint Coalition Ventures will comprise two funds, an early-stage fund focused on pre-seed and Series A firms, and a late-stage targeting Series B and onwards. Six main sustainable tech categories will be earmarked, including sustainable consumer products, food and agri-tech, materials and industrial tech, energy and transport, education and media and advanced environmental solutions

FootPrint Coalition is opening the door to allow real people to invest in the companies that are building businesses around the mission of saving the Earth for generations to come.

Andrei Cherny, Co-Founder & CEO, Aspiration

Alongside Downey Jr., who will leverage his enormous following, fame and creative and media team to aid portfolio companies, the fund will be led by veteran tech investors and entrepreneurs Jonathan Schulhof and Steve Levin. 

So far, FootPrint Coalition Ventures has backed five companies, including AI-forward environmental storytelling firm Arcadia Earth, tree-free paper packaging and products company Cloud Paper, RWDC Industries who are developing biovanescent materials to replace single-use plastics, insect protein and fertiliser company Ynsect, and Aspiration, a neobank offering 100% clean and sustainable financial services. 

“For years, huge fortunes have been built off of actions that harm our planet,” commented Aspiration co-founder and CEO Andrei Cherny. “FootPrint Coalition is opening the door to allow real people to invest in the companies that are building businesses around the mission of saving the Earth for generations to come. We are honoured to have them and Robert Downey Jr. as investors and partners in this worthwhile battle.” 

The launch of Downey Jr.’s new sustainable fund comes as ESG-forward investments take off. Over the past year, particularly amid the global pandemic, investors around the world have been turning to a sustainable investing approach, which has shown the superior risk-adjusted returns of such investments


Lead image courtesy of Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images.


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