Former Manchester United footballer Chris Smalling is one of the founding members of the new venture capital consultancy ForGood, which offers between £50,000 and £1 million to start-ups tackling pressing environmental challenges.
The VC firm aims to support the “scaling of ideas to build a better future”, helping to fund pre-seed to Series A funding rounds for companies both in the UK and around the world.
Smalling is joined by several high-profile faces at ForGood including vegan investor, entrepreneur and activist Sebastiano Cossia Castiglioni, Rebecca Wheeler, leader of certified B-Corp food, health and wellness-focused creative agency Library; and Jonny Stanton, a start-up and communications advisor who has worked extensively with plant-based and other sustainable businesses.
“I want to look back on my life as someone who achieved lots on the pitch, but also someone who made a difference on a much greater scale,” said Smalling, who now plays for A.S. Roma. “We’re on a simple but huge mission to transform the world for the better and drive a global movement for good.
“Investing in a more sustainable future shouldn’t have any barriers, and at ForGood we believe that connecting people with a common cause has the power to bring change on a global scale. We want to play a key role in accelerating an ecosystem that actively invests and champions the next generation of responsible businesses, with the ambition to drive a movement of doing things ‘for good’.”
Founded in 2021, the firm has already built a portfolio of 11 companies while operating in ‘stealth mode’. The list includes some huge names in food, like plant-based Heura, allplants, THIS and Matthew Kenney Cuisine, as well as the natural laundry detergent Dirty Labs, and Ananas Anam which sells Piñatex, a natural fabric made from waste pineapple leaf fibre.
Cossia Castiglioni said in a statement: “ForGood is on a mission to promote intelligent, radical change, rethinking supply chains and production systems. With the aim of ending animal suffering, and by promoting a cruelty-free, healthy, vegan lifestyle, we will inspire and support a new generation of entrepreneurs and businesses.
“ForGood is committed to building a portfolio of exciting companies and ideas, who share our values and ethics. I’m honoured to be working alongside Chris, Rebecca and our Changemakers, and to be part of a team that’s focused on empathy, progress, and change.”
Smalling is known for following a plant-based diet himself, and previously invested in vegan food companies Heura in 2021 and THIS in 2020.