- Footballer Chris Smalling has launched a climate-focused venture capital firm.
- He wants to make it easier for celebrities to invest in social and environmental startups.
- The special purpose vehicle will write checks for up to $1.2 million to pre-seed Series A businesses.
Footballer Chris Smalling has launched a venture capital vehicle to help celebrities invest in startups fighting climate change.
The AS Roma centre-back and England international will facilitate deals between high-profile athletes, musicians, artists, personalities and startups tackling social and environmental issues through a new company called ForGood.
The investment advisory firm will issue checks for between £50,000 and £1 million to companies around the world at the pre-seed and Series A stage.
It follows a slew of high profile investments in climate technology. Leonardo DiCaprio recently backed water crisis management tool Waterplan while actress Emma Watson and Twitter co-founder Biz Stone handed checks to Fabric Nano, a London-based startup seeking help. an alternative to fossil fuels in the production of plastics and chemicals.
Smalling, who previously played for Manchester United and Fulham, was first exposed to startups when he became a vegan.
“I have always been an animal lover and am extremely passionate about animal welfare, which led me to switch to a plant-based lifestyle almost seven years ago, as well as ‘to health impacts,’ he said.
“It’s also opened up a whole new world of startups and I’ve personally invested in pineapple-based leather company Piñatex and frozen food company All Plants. For me, I want to find founders who are looking to shake up industries – whether it’s food and drink, fashion or technology.”
Instead of raising a fund, Smalling will offer celebrities case-by-case investment opportunities through a special purpose vehicle in an effort to facilitate investing. Having personally invested in sustainability and green space over the past few years, Smalling wants to provide opportunities for others.
He created ForGood alongside co-founders Sebastiano Cossia Castiglioni, entrepreneur and investor, and Rebecca Wheeler, who previously founded a creative agency. The four-person company, founded in 2020, is independent of the sector.
ForGood, which has a broader network of VCs, strategists, food scientists and branding experts, will also operate a consulting arm offering growth services to portfolio companies.
According to its website, the company focuses on mindful living, high-impact disruption, and community. He currently has 11 startups in his portfolio, including plant-based meat companies THIS and Heura, and natural laundry detergent Dirty Labs.
Smalling, who almost went to university to study economics before becoming a professional footballer, added that he was looking for a solution to global waste.
“I really want to reduce the amount of waste in the world – from food waste to making sport more sustainable – because unfortunately there is still a lot of it.”