North America’s only Indigenous-led and owned venture capital intermediary launched its second fund today.
Vancouver-based Raven Indigenous Capital Partners announced this week that Raven Fund II has launched with an initial close of $46 million and a target size of $75 million.
The fund “invests in innovative, scalable Indigenous enterprises at the forefront of advancing the well-being of Indigenous Peoples,” according to a statement from the firm.
Investors in Raven Fund II include BDC Capital, Farm Credit Canada, the TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good, Vancity, and Bank of America.
“Indigenous entrepreneurs cannot, or do not want to, access traditional capital,” explains Stephen Nairne, Chief Investment Officer, Raven Capital. He says this “limits opportunities to scale their businesses.”
“Our mission is to empower Indigenous entrepreneurs with the capital and expertise they need to succeed, while recognizing progress moves at the speed of trust,” said Nairne.
He wants to “transform the concept of money as power and extractions, to money as medicine, paving a path to healing, community empowerment, and economic reconciliation.”
There are an estimated 325,000 Indigenous-owned companies in North America, including about 50,000 in Canada according to the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Businesses.
“At BDC, our role is to create more inclusive prosperity in Canada by supporting the creation of innovative businesses,” says Alison Nankivell, Senior Vice President, Fund Investments and Global Scaling, BDC Capital. “Raven is redefining venture capital from an Indigenous perspective.”
Raven’s first fund, launched in 2019, set an initial goal of $5 million and closed at $25 million. To date, it has made 20 investments in 11 companies.
“Raven truly supports Indigenous entrepreneurs who are creating meaningful change and driving impact in their communities, which is a core part of our investment thesis at the TELUS Pollinator Fund,” said Blair Miller, Managing Partner of TELUS Pollinator Fund.
“Having the opportunity to complete a second investment in Raven is a testament to the potential we see and believe in for these Indigenous-led organizations to create real economic growth and social change,” he added.