Leonardo DiCaprio was one of the first Hollywood actors to warn of the dangers of climate change. Now, this Oscar winner has joined a fund that invests in companies that repair things, resell them, transform waste into new materials. Entrepreneurial capital fund called Regeneration. VC has just secured the first $ 45 million.

The actor is both a strategic advisor and an investor. It is not known how much he invested, but the fund’s founders describe him as a “big investor”.

– We need advanced approaches that are good for our planet. It is time for people to start feeling good about their purchases, and it is time for businesses to respond to that challenge – the actor pointed out on the Regeneration website. WC.

Another fund advisor is William McDonough, a pioneer in the circular economy, an architect, designer and co-author of Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the way we make things.

Consumers have power

The fund focuses on investing in companies that offer circular approaches in the consumer industry. These are mostly companies that repair things, resell them, transform waste into new materials. It is based on a bottom-up approach, which believes that companies will change their behavior under pressure from consumers.

– Consumers have power. We can significantly improve the planet through our consumer decisions – says Michael Smith, general partner and co-founder.

Smith explains that consumer supply chains are responsible for 45 percent of global emissions. The fund focuses on three areas: design (packaging and materials), use (products and brands) and reuse (reverse logistics and markets). It is, as they say, a business opportunity worth 4.5 trillion dollars.

According to Smith and other co-founders Dan Fishman, the variety of changes in the rules and feelings of consumers leads to major changes in the behavior of big brands. Large corporations, such as Nike and Unilever, are already committed to following circular strategies by 2030. The EU is adopting regulations in the spirit of the circular economy, and so are some American states.

– Big corporations know they have to do something. And this is a sensible way to get involved in the process – Smith thinks and reveals that DiCaprio got involved in the business early, as an investor, two years ago when they presented him with the idea.

Help for companies in the early stages of development

When researching the market, Smith and Fishman noticed that most investments in the sector target companies at later stages. What was missing was money for jobs that are just breaking into the market, achieving some success, but they need capital and expert advice to go to the next level. And that’s where Regeneration jumps in. WC.

They started raising capital in February last year, have so far secured $ 45 million and have already invested in five startups since April last year.

One of them is Cruz Foam, a company that turns aquaculture waste into a biodegradable alternative to polystyrene. There is also Arrive, which provides rental and resale services to global retailers and brands.

The plan is to invest in 17 companies, with an average investment of $ 1 million in the start-up phase and $ 1.5 million to $ 3 million in the later stages. Half of the fund’s capital will go to initial investments, while the rest goes to financing as companies grow.

E2 portal (Circular economy)

Source: E2 Portal by www.e2.rs.

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