Robert Downey Jr solves the planet's problems
By: Linda Davis
Actor and producer Robert Downey Jr. launched venture capital funds to invest in green technologies. These funds will be part of the Hollywood superstar's broader environmental initiative. They will invest in companies dealing with climate and environmental issues.
Robert Downey decided to dive into the world of venture capital. On January 27, 2021, during the World Economic Forum in Davos, which is being held online due to the pandemic, the actor announced the creation of two new investment funds. They will support companies that develop business models and technologies that address the toughest challenges of climate change.
«A small group of elite large corporations will not be able to cope with this global threat to all of humanity,» the Iron Man performer said during an online discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos and added: «I believe that we must change the paradigm in favor of innovation implemented by many new companies.
Before the official announcement of the creation of new investment funds, FootPrint Coalition Ventures, the famous actor was interviewed by Forbes. In it, he stressed that foundations are an important area of work for his FootPrint Coalition charity project. Downey Jr. launched it in 2019 to attract investors, philanthropists and celebrities to help come up with solutions to pressing environmental problems.
«Now is not the time to stand quietly on the sidelines. We are damn serious about our tasks and their implementation, «said the actor. The goal of FootPrint Coalition Ventures investment funds is to support commercial organizations that can become significant players in their industries and help in the fight against climate change.
One of the new funds will focus on seed funding and Series A rounds. A second investment fund will focus on the later stages of fundraising, starting with Series B rounds. FootPrint Coalition Ventures hopes to attract thousands of qualified and accredited investors. In doing so, they are betting on the non-traditional business model of a more flexible investment fund. In this regard, FootPrint Coalition Ventures will partner with investment platform AngelList, which operates on a quarterly subscription system.
The new venture capital funds will be managed by seasoned investors and entrepreneurs John Schulhof and Steve Levin. Levin is Downey Jr.'s brother-in-law and one of the founders of Team Downey, a television and film production company. Levine runs a production center with his sister Susan Downey and Downey Jr. himself. Since last year, Rachel Kropa has been spearheading scientific and philanthropic projects for the FootPrint Coalition. She will be responsible for assessing the environmental, social and organizational benefits of candidate companies that will have a chance to attract investment from new FootPrint Coalition Ventures.
Forbes estimates that Downey Jr. made $ 66 million in 2019 from his movie and other projects. It took $ 10 million to launch the FootPrint Coalition charity initiative, most of which was invested by the actor himself. He will continue to invest his personal savings in new investment funds. «I'm ready to show how committed I am to our goals,» Downey Jr. told Forbes.
According to John Schulhof, he, Downey Jr. and other partners have pledged to invest 10% of the capital in each new fund. The first fund to handle seed funding and Serie A rounds will eventually run $ 500,000 per year. The second fund, which will focus on the later stages of fundraising, will manage $ 1 million per year.
Through his resources and numerous social media followers, Downey Jr. intends to help new investment funds and companies that they will provide funding. He notes that he is gladly ready to cope with the tasks and change the world for the better. The actor is already getting used to the new role of a venture investor. Downey Jr. joked that he would soon be compared to strict investors from ABC's hit reality show Shark Tank, in which entrepreneurs must prove to investors how good their business idea is.