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Patagonia Launches Venture Fund For Sustainability-Minded Startups

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Patagonia has often made it known that sustainability is one of the biggest priorities for its future, and the now popular outdoor clothing company is taking its environmental efforts a step further with a new venture fund.

Known as $20 Million & Change, the goal of the fund is to invest in startups working to make the world a better place through clothing, energy, waste, food, and water industries. This is all part of a large restructuring of the company that includes a food product line, surfboard manufacturer, and media company.

“We basically doubled the company in the last five years, tripled the profitability, and we had the excess cash besides the regular capital that we need to run the business that we have,” said Patagonia Works CEO Rose Marcario. “[Founder] Yvon wanted to put that cash towards creating some good in the world as opposed to hoarding it on the balance sheet. Part of the way we do that is by investing in these companies that are focused on progressive environmental practices.”

The goal is to invest between $500,000 to $5 million in about three to five companies over the next two years, depending on the startup specifics and funding initiatives. Marcario also says that startups will get perks like business advice, cachet, and networking opportunities.

If there is any company I’d like to have providing the advice and funds needed to succeed and thrive in business, it would definitely be a company that actually encourages consumers to buy less of its products for the sake of environmental sustainability! I am curious to see what companies Patagonia invests in with $20 Million & Change, and I hope it gives some entrepreneurs the boost they need to get where they want to be.

Image CC licensed by Owen Lin

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