Walmart Heir Lukas Walton Joins Family Offices in Fund to End Waste

Money raised in the new round will go to Asian recycling companies and will also be used for direct investments in climate technology startups, starting with three in the United States. Unlike the first fund, whose investors are only companies, the latter was raised from private capital. , such as family offices, said Rob Kaplan, CEO of Circulate.

Private investors started approaching Circulate about a year ago, and Kaplan jumped at the opportunity “to build these bridges with the private investor community,” he said in an interview.

“We knew early on that it would take a lot over $ 100 million to fix this problem,” Kaplan said. “It was going to take lots and lots of billions of dollars.”

Other investors in the round include the family office of real estate investor Stanley Tan and a charitable foundation owned by former Hillhouse Capital director Angela C. Huang and trader Geo Chen.

Kaplan said he met Lukas Walton about seven years ago while working as director of sustainability for Walmart. The only child of the late son of Sam, John and his wife Christy, Lukas, 35, has a net worth of $ 21.6 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. In recent years, it has become an important supporter of green technologies and other sustainability-conscious businesses. In addition to a stake in Walmart, he owns shares of First Solar Inc. valued at approximately $ 500 million.

Several years ago, he formed the Builders Initiative, the entity through which he invested in Circulate. Chicago-based Builders invests in nonprofit and for-profit businesses that tackle environmental and societal issues, such as overfishing and food insecurity. The organization has committed nearly $ 2 billion in philanthropic capital over the past three years and made $ 1 billion in direct investments since 2014.

Subscribe to Crain’s for $ 3.25 per week

Builders’ Circulate’s investment was made through a new fund he created to focus on ocean health, according to Peter Bryant, senior program manager. Circulate’s strategy “is aligned with ours to seize opportunities at the intersection of climate innovation and circular plastics,” he said in a statement.

Family offices are increasing their allocations to climate-friendly investment strategies as the Earth heats up and opportunities multiply. A investigation wealthy families from 30 countries published in September showed that 70% of them consider the move to net zero carbon emissions “the greatest business opportunity of our time”. About a third of those polled said they were targeting investments that supported a transition to a low-carbon economy.

Some are already showing the potential. Billionaire investor Jeremy grantham, one of the first Cassandras on the dangers of climate change, said her venture capital portfolio returned 102% last year, thanks to green investments.

Subscribe to Crain’s for $ 3.25 per week

Comments are closed.