A Leonardo DiCaprio-backed venture capital fund plans to invest $45 million in circular and regenerative materials, brands and reuse technologies.
Regeneration.VC announced Monday the final close of its inaugural fund “to supercharge consumer-powered innovation.” “Don’t Look Up” actor Leonardo DiCaprio and William McDonough, an architect and leader in sustainable development and design, will serve as strategic advisors.
Other advisory board members include Bonobos founder Andy Dunn, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander in Europe Wesley Clark and president of sustainable packaging company RCD Packaging Innovation Reyna Bryan. Participating limited partners include North American and European family offices, foundations and institutional investors.
“Sustainability continues to attract a spotlight,” DiCaprio, also a limited partner, said in a statement. “We need forward-thinking approaches that perform measurably better for our planet. It’s time for people to feel good about their purchases and for businesses to meet that challenge—every bite of food, every T-shirt, every product counts. I am excited to help Regeneration.VC supercharge these solutions and begin to reverse the climate emergency.”
Regeneration.VC’s portfolio currently includes Pangaia, the London-based sustainable fashion startup using Himalayan nettle to make jeans and wildflower “down” to create outerwear insulation. The fund’s other investments—it has five so far—include the lab-grown leather firm VitroLabs; the rental- and resale-as-a-service business Arrive; the compostable foam packaging creator Cruz Foam; and CleanO2, which sequesters and repurposes commercial building emissions into products like soap.
This marks the first fund from general partners Dan Fishman and Michael Smith. Fishman, described by Regeneration.VC as a “longtime brand builder,” previously worked with the jewelry and fashion brand House of Harlow, apparel boutique L’Agence and ice cream brand Coolhaus. Smith toured the world as a DJ before establishing Ponvalley, a climate-focused family office.
“Our portfolio companies are tackling the greatest challenge humanity faces: the climate emergency,” Smith said in a statement. “Leaving behind the linear economy for a circular and regenerative paradigm is no longer a choice.”
Pangaia recently launched an apparel line made with fabric that blended organic cotton with chopped up cutting waste. The Reclaim collection marked the latest manifestation of Pangaia’s longstanding collaboration with Research Design Development (RDD), the vertically integrated, experimental arm of Portuguese textile group Valérius. The apparel company will also welcome Krishna Nikhil as its first group CEO effective Friday.