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Leonardo DiCaprio and other stars shine light on circular economy fund

‘We’re able to get the word out,’ says Regeneration.VC – which has raised $45m for its debut circular economy fund from a raft of public figures and family offices.

Leonardo DiCaprio is an investor in and strategic adviser to climate-focused firm Regeneration.VC’s first fund, which has closed on $45 million, the firm has announced. The fund invests in circular economy innovations for consumer goods, packaging and logistics.

“We’re able to get the word out,” Regeneration co-founder Dan Fishman told New Private Markets. “As a first-time fund, there are structural challenges to getting institutional investors to back you. Pension funds, major banks and sovereign wealth funds like to see track record of returns. Those are the types of investors that we would love to have on board as we move forward.”

Among Regeneration’s LPs are guitarist Bill Peck, jewellery designer Jennifer Meyer, band Depeche Mode’s Martin Gore and tennis player Mike Bryan, while architect William McDonough is a strategic adviser. “Entertainment and culture and a strong advisory group can [generate] attention and the ability to spread the message. Leonardo DiCaprio is an amazing partner in helping us with that,” Fishman said.

The fund is focused on consumer-facing portfolio companies and these high-profile investors and advisers “can help open up revenue opportunities for our portfolio companies”, Fishman added.

DiCaprio said in Regeneration’s statement: “Sustainability continues to attract a spotlight. 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 was co-founded by Michael Smith, who established climate-focused family office Ponvalley, and Fishman. Other LPs include: Tribe Capital/Pay It Forward, Commenda EU, ImpactAssets, SDG Impact Fund and family offices such as Cameron Holdings and For Good Ventures, the Passport Foundation, MFI Foundation, SmartyPants Vitamins founders Courtney Nichols Gould and Gordon Gould.