Published on January 5th, 2009 | by Jennifer Kho4
Move Over Gore: Bjork Becomes Newest Cleantech Celebrity VC
Think of Björk and the Icelandic musician’s bizarre videos, eccentric clothing and eclectic music might spring to mind. Now she’s bringing a new theme to her persona: money.
Reykjavik, Iceland-based Audur Capital is raising money for its second venture-capital fund, named Björk, focused on greentech startups (via Earth2Tech and The New York Times). The singer and Audur jointly established the fund to help turn around Iceland’s economy, which was crushed by the country’s banking collapse in the fall. Audur seeded the fund, expected to close in March, with an investment of 100 million Icelandic kronur (about $816,330).
Björk is the latest of a handful of celebrities to cross over into venture capitalism. Take Bono, lead singer for U2, who joined Elevation Partners in 2004, or Al Gore – admittedly more knowledgeable on environmental policy – who is a partner at both Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers and Generation Investment Management.
Björk’s interest in nature and the environment is hardly new, and it goes beyond her morphing into a polar bear in her video for “Hunter,” wearing a swan dress at the Oscars or singing “Nature is Ancient.”
The musician joined the Nattura campaign to protect Iceland’s environment and spoke against Iceland’s aluminum industry, saying that smelting is damaging the country’s geothermal and other resources. She staged a concert to raise environmental awareness and teamed up with Radiohead’s Thom Yorke on a single called “Nattura” to benefit the nonprofit campaign.
But even given her interest in the environment, plenty of questions remain: What does Björk know about technology, the business of greentech or venture capital? Will her name and reputation be enough to attract successful startups to her namesake fund? And, finally, will her “Army of Me” be able to help environmentalists change “Human Behavior” for the better?
Image Credit – verapalsdottir via flickr.com on a Creative Commons license