Jan 27, 2021 - Podcasts

Robert Downey Jr. launches VC funds to help save the planet

Photo illustration of Robert Downey Jr. holding wind turbines.
Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Steve Granitz/WireImage via Getty Images

Robert Downey Jr. on Wednesday announced the launch of two venture capital funds focused on startups in the sustainability sector, the latest evolution of a project he launched two years ago called Footprint Coalition.

Between the lines: This is a bit of life imitating art, as Downey Jr. spent 11 films portraying a character who sought to save the planet (or, in some cases, the universe).

Details: Footprint Coalition, which to date has invested only Downey Jr.'s money, will raise capital from accredited investors via the "Rolling Funds" feature of investment platform AngelList.

  • It plans to raise two funds, one focused on early stage startups and one on later-stage startups, with AngelList allowing up to 2,000 "qualified" investors per fund.
  • If fully subscribed, that could work out to $160 million raised over two years.

Downey Jr. tells the Axios Re:Cap podcast: "What I learned, if nothing else from my years with the MCU, is you stop siloing your efforts and you engage your audience. And there becomes this informational synergy that I think supercharges your efforts... I feel we're demonstrating that if you want to build a real coalition, then I think it's about access... [Tony Stark] got his priorities straight by the end. It didn't turn out so well for him, but it wound up being the right thing for the team.."

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