Early-stage venture capital firm ReGen Ventures is raising US$50 million (A$67m) for its first fund as it looks to back startups with a focus on regenerative technologies.
The VC firm, formed in early 2020 by former investment banker and hedge fund manager, Dan Fitzgerald, has a global focus, with its Australian base in the holiday hotspot of Byron Bay as well as offices in San Francisco and New York.
The fund has completed its first close of US$20m on the $50 million target.
Byron-based Fitzgerald has a decade-long track record in backing climate technology ventures. Former Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario, who worked with Fitzgerald via the company’s in-house VC fund, Tin Shed Ventures, has joined ReGen Ventures as a partner. Marcario is a board member of EV company Rivian, and plant-based protein startup Meati.
Fitzgerald said sustainability is not enough as a goal for investment and they want to back startups that are redesigning the global economy to actively restore climate, planetary and human health.
His VC’s thesis is that products that are better for people and the planet will capture the massive unmet demand for sustainable products, which are growing 7x faster than conventional products and command a 40% price premium. Fitzgerald’s vision is to transform what we eat, wear, build, as well as where we live, what we build, how we move, and more.
“Regenerative technologies go well beyond incrementally reducing harm by actively restoring ecosystem health,” Fitzgerald said
“We are motivated to partner with founders daring to build companies that will restore our planet. This is the greatest imperative and opportunity of our lifetimes. Investing in regenerative technologies will radically change the world for the better and generate enormous value now and for future generations. This is our life’s work.”
The ReGen team also includes US clean tech veteran Will Coleman;, Mark Tercek, former CEO of The Nature Conservancy; Renee Beaumont, former partner of Generation Investment Management; and Georgia Vidler, former head of product at Canva.
The ReGen portfolio already incldues Hide Biotech, a company producing cow-free leather from food waste; and Seqana, which pairs artificial intelligence with satellite imagery to measure soil organic carbon (SOC) at a fraction of the current cost.
Fitzgerald said it’s just the first step in ReGen’s mission to place $1 billion into the regenerative technology space by 2030.