Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr looks to fight ‘global existential threat’ by launching two VC funds

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Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr has taken a leaf out of his superhero character’s book by launching a pair of venture capital fund focused on sustainable tech investments.

The actor’s firm Footprint Coalition Ventures will raise an early-stage vehicle targeting pre-seed and Series A investments, and a ‘late-stage’ fund targeting Series B and beyond.

Investment areas are set to include sustainability focused consumer products and services, food and agriculture technology, materials and industrial tech, energy and transportation, education and media, and advanced environmental solutions.

FootPrint Coalition has already invested in five companies, including tree-free paper products company Cloud Paper and fully biodegradable material developer RWDC Industries.

Downey Jr said, “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 mobilize more people and catalyze more capital. Thus – FootPrint Coalition Ventures, a group of investors, technologists, and storytellers committed to scaling enviro-tech solutions.”

The rolling fund has been opened up to outside investment in partnership with AngelList.

FootPrint Coalition Ventures will be led by veteran tech investors and entrepreneurs Jonathan Schulhof and Steve Levin.

Schulhof’s experience includes Motivate, GloriEnergy, ColdWatt, and GTI Capital, while Levin served as a strategy lead at Green Dot, was a founding member of Deloitte’s R&D Group and consulted for Bain & Co.

Schulhof, said, “We see two powerful trends working together to support the environment.  First, engaging content and media distribution enable us to create a passionate community from Robert’s 100 million followers and to use that audience to access great investments.

“Second, a turnkey technology platform now enables us to manage a broad set of individual investors.

“Venture funds traditionally have high minimums that exclude only the wealthiest individuals, or endowments and foundations.

“With much lower minimums and shorter investment periods, we can now offer access to these same companies to a much broader group.

“When these investors further ignite our passionate audience, we hope to set a positive feedback loop in motion with environmental technologies as the ultimate beneficiary.”

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