Robert Downey Jr.’s venture fund has made a major investment in a vegan brand. Footprint Coalition Ventures, the actor’s fund, is one of several investors that recently threw financial support behind alternative protein startup Atlast Food Co. The New York-based brand produces “whole-cut” plant-based bacon made from mycelium—the fibrous root structure of mushrooms.
Atlast, which is a spinoff from mycelium packaging producer Ecovative Design, secured an impressive $40 million from investors, including the Iron Man star’s contribution. This latest influx of capital for Atlast, which raised an additional $60 million for Ecovative earlier this month, will fund commercial-scale production of the world’s largest aerial mycelium farm. Mycelium is a key ingredient in the company’s vegan bacon, named MyBacon.
Downey Jr.’s investment in a plant-based business is no coincidence. The 56-year-old hinted at a switch to a vegan diet at the Dolittle premiere in Los Angeles in January 2020. He launched Footprint Coalition Ventures in January as an extension of the Footprint Coalition. The philanthropic initiative founded by the Downeys, along with tech investors and entrepreneurs. The Footprint Coalition aims to bring environmental solutions to scale. The actor invested nearly $10 million of his own fortune to launch the venture fund.