Former Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario joins ReGen Ventures

Former Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario has joined early-stage enterprise fund ReGen Ventures as a companion, to proceed her work advising and investing in entrepreneurs who’re constructing firms round fixing the local weather disaster.

Marcario says the subsequent decade is essential to discovering transformative options to assist save the planet. “We’ve obtained this 10 years to essentially deal with scaling transportation, power, industrial and agriculture programs, and to essentially reimagine enterprise to a extra simply type of capitalism, that takes into consideration individuals and the planet,” says Marcario, who served as Patagonia’s CEO from 2014 to 2020.

ReGen Ventures was began in 2020 by former funding banker and hedge fund supervisor Dan Fitzgerald to speed up funding in regenerative applied sciences, who reasoned that being sustainable wasn’t sufficient, and that extra industries want to seek out options that actively work with as an alternative of in opposition to nature. As an funding method, ReGen asserts that merchandise which can be higher for individuals and the planet are rising seven instances quicker than standard merchandise and command a 40% worth premium. 

“For me it wasn’t a tough choice to work on this,” says Marcario. “Startup entrepreneurs want traders who perceive these points. Dan, and me, and the individuals on our advisory board are all very educated on this enviornment, and there are lots of people simply throwing cash at ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) proper now, who don’t actually have the credibility to do it.”

The ReGen group additionally consists of clear know-how veteran and former Lucid CEO Will Coleman, in addition to such advisors and traders as former CEO of The Nature Conservancy Mark Tercek, former companion of Technology Funding Administration Renee Beaumont, and former head of product at Canva Georgia Vidler. Two firms the fund has invested in up to now embrace Hide Biotech, which produces cow-free leather-based utilizing meals waste, and Seqana, which pairs synthetic intelligence with satellite tv for pc imagery to measure soil natural carbon (SOC) at a fraction of the present price.

Earlier than becoming a member of Patagonia as CFO in 2008, Marcario headed up M&A at a West Coast funding agency, was CFO of Apple spin-off Basic Magic, after which moved into non-public fairness. “What excited me about what Dan was placing collectively is that he understands on a very deep degree that we don’t have time to attend for this stuff to scale up,” says Marcario, who since leaving Patagonia has joined the boards of electrical car firm Rivian and plant-based protein startup Meati. “It’s a must to put money into issues you already know will scale. Applied sciences you already know will scale and are game-changing, as a result of the unit economics make sense, and the information and figures of how the businesses are structured can handle the sort of scale we have to get to a extra habitable future over the subsequent 10 years.”

Together with Marcario turning into its latest companion, ReGen additionally introduced the primary shut of its $50 million first fund, which the corporate says is step one in its mission to maneuver $1 billion of capital into the regenerative know-how area by 2030. “The ambition is to construct a world platform that strikes billions of {dollars} into regenerative know-how firms this decade,” says Fitzgerald, “and adjustments the paradigm of enterprise in order that it bakes in these ideas to the core.”

Marcario and Fitzgerald first met years in the past as fellow traders in recycled plastics startup Bureo, again when Marcario was guiding Patagonia’s funding arm, Tin Shed Ventures. Fitzgerald says that a part of what makes ReGen completely different from conventional VCs is how open it’s to collaboration so as to obtain its purpose of advancing these applied sciences.

“We’re not within the enterprise of hoarding,” he says. “We’re an open-source enterprise agency that’s sharing what we’ve discovered in a specific sector as overtly as we probably can so as to speed up the collective information and progress made in several areas so extra firms are spawned, and extra traders come into the area.”

Each Marcario and Fitzgerald have seen the curiosity, funding, and entrepreneurship explode within the regenerative tech area over simply the final couple of years, and credit score it to 3 foremost elements. First is the convergence of science, know-how, and engineering making issues doable that beforehand weren’t. Second is the expansion of shopper demand for extra sustainable and regeneratively produced merchandise, similar to within the electrical car and plant-based protein areas. And third is the expertise that desires to work on these issues and construct firms to resolve them.

“A number of the most devoted, skilled entrepreneurs are dedicating their lives to constructing these firms,” says Fitzgerald. “[By doing that] they’re more likely to scale infinitely quicker and be these generation-defining companies. I don’t assume that even existed simply a few years in the past.”

And based mostly on the explosive development of Patagonia during the last decade, Marcario is aware of that doing good for the planet will also be an excellent enterprise. “Earning profits and making nice earnings shouldn’t be incompatible with caring about individuals and the planet,” she says. “That was not my lived expertise at Patagonia.”