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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.."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Jan 28, 2021 - Economy & Business

NBA signals further interest in private equity funding

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The National Basketball Association is opening the door a little wider for private equity funds, which to date have been largely excluded from investing in its franchises.

Driving the news: The league's board of governors has approved a framework whereby a PE fund could own up to 20% in a single franchise, and stakes in up to five franchises, as first reported by Sportico and confirmed by Axios.

Supreme Court agrees to hear major Mississippi abortion case

Photo: Erin Scott/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a challenge to a Mississippi law that bans nearly all abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy.

Why it matters: It will be the first abortion case to be argued before the Supreme Court since Justice Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed, potentially providing a pathway to challenging Roe v. Wade and allowing outright bans on abortion.

This story is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

1 hour ago - World

Blinken says he hasn't seen evidence Hamas was in AP building Israel struck

Smoke rises after sraeli forces destroyed building in Gaza City where Al-Jazeera and Associated Press had their offices. Photo: Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday he had not seen evidence that Hamas was operating in a building that housed offices for Al Jazeera, the AP and other media in the Gaza Strip, as the Israeli government has claimed, AP reports.

Why it matters: Israel has said the presence of a Hamas military intelligence office justified an airstrike that destroyed the 12-story building on Saturday. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told CBS News' "Face the Nation" Sunday that Israeli intelligence had shared proof with the U.S.