Robert Downey Jr. started a venture fund to make a positive impact on the environment. The Iron Man and Avengers star has invested nearly $10 million of his own fortune into the launch of the Footprint Coalition Ventures (FCV), a new venture capital fund focused on sustainable technology.
Downey made the announcement in Davos at the World Economic Forum on January 27, Forbes reports.
FCV has already invested in Aspirations, a Los Angeles-based financial lender that ensures clients’ money goes to sustainable ventures. Grants are available for cellular agriculture, the production of animal products grown from cells (aka lab-grown meat), microplastics, and conservation technology.
“This global existential threat is not something that’s going to be solved by a smattering of elite mega-corporations,” Downey said at the event. “I think that paradigm must be smashed in favor of innovation by a broad set of new companies.”
The FCV funds are an extension of the Footprint Coalition, a philanthropic initiative co-founded by Downey and his wife, Susan Downey, along with tech investors and entrepreneurs. The Footprint Coalition aims to bring environmental solutions to scale.
Future FCV investments may include future funding rounds from companies that the Footprint Coalition has already invested in. These include Ynsect, a world leader in producing insect protein from mealworms for fertilizer and food for pets and aquaculture. Other investments are Cloud Paper, which produces paper made from bamboo, and RWDC, which makes PHA, a bio-based plastic alternative that generates no microplastics.
‘No Time to Be an Audience Member’
The 55-year-old actor stressed that he is ready to help bring sustainable business solutions to fruition.
FCV will seek out burgeoning companies across the fields of food production, energy, and materials science. It aims to invest in startups that have the potential to become top players in their space. One fund will focus on Series A investments and the other will focus on B rounds onwards.
Downey plans to use his acting fame to attract attention to the funds and companies that FCV invests in.
“This is no time to be an audience member,” he told Forbes. ”We are getting quite damn serious about our ability to be relevant in this space.”