Calgary-based Indigena Capital has launched Indigenous Equity Partnership Fund to provide capital to help Indigenous Nations participate in commercial-scale enterprises. The fund, which will partner with First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities in Canada and Tribal Nations in the US, will raise up to C$250 million for deployment in agriculture, renewable energy and carbon offset, infrastructure and real estate sectors.
CALGARY, AB, Dec. 8, 2021 /CNW/ – Indigena Capital, LP (“Indigena”) is pleased to announce the launch of its Indigenous Equity Partnership Fund (“the Fund”) dedicated to partnering with First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities in Canada and Tribal Nations in the US (“Indigenous Nations” or “Nations”) to provide equity capital that will enable Nations to actively participate in commercial scale enterprises. Nations have substantial rights and resources that, when empowered with fit for purpose capital, can deliver a meaningful economic engine for the socio-economic well-being of their communities, while delivering appropriate sector returns to investors. Indigena will raise up to C$250 million of capital from institutional investors across Canada, the United States and Europe for deployment into the agriculture, renewable energy and carbon offset, infrastructure, and real estate sectors.
With more than 35-years of experience in successfully partnering and investing with Indigenous Nations, Indigena designed the Fund to begin to institutionalize private investing with Nations across North America. Indigena and its predecessors have operated using a capital allocation model that either relied on its balance sheet or investor capital for funding transaction types, in essence, matching capital, investors, and Nations by project.
This model proved successful with Indigena achieving above sector returns for its investors, while providing needed commercial revenues for partner Nations to augment their existing economies or build new ones. During its history, Indigena and its predecessors have sourced or invested more than $2.5 billion of capital in over 70 transactions while achieving quantifiable social impact. With the expansion of commercial opportunities available to Nations today growing to a scale that demands billions of dollars of capital, Indigena believes now is the time to institutionalize a bridge between the financial markets and Indigenous communities.
“The days of Nations struggling to access investment capital through an experienced provider, despite having latent opportunity similar to that of any emerging market, need to end. With the creation of the Indigenous Equity Partnership Fund, we are taking the first step to bring about that needed change,” said John Jurrius, CEO, Indigena Capital. “This day is long overdue. In Canada alone, there are more than a trillion dollars in venture and private equity assets under management (“AUM”) in the private sector, and less than 1% of that allocation is dedicated to, or specializes in, serving the Indigenous sector. When you think about the millions of acres of Reserve Lands, Traditional Territories and Ancestral Lands in Canada that are tied directly to First Nations, Inuit and Métis, it is hard to conceive of many commercial transactions that don’t intersect Indigenous lands, territories or rights. Without fit for purpose capital, Indigenous rights and resources and the associated economic opportunity, will continue to be eroded and we will have lost a tremendous opportunity to foster needed commercial economies for Indigenous Communities and bring about associated economic reconciliation.”
Indigena’s Fund is specifically designed to provide the equity capital to advance investable commercial projects across their specified sectors in partnership with Indigenous Nations. Indigena will use its proven partnership model to provide project identification, underwriting, structuring, incubation, back office, commercialization, and monetization of Indigenous projects as it deploys the Fund capital.
“The Kainai/Blood Tribe is excited to see Indigena announce the launch of the Indigenous Equity Partnership Fund,” said Makiinima, Chief Roy Fox of the Kainai/Blood Tribe. “In my long history of serving the Kainai/Blood Tribe membership, it has been a journey to find the necessary capital to advantage our rights and resources. My Nation, like many others, has commercial opportunities across sectors, and the only way we can build our economic engine is by being able to access capital in a timely manner from a partner that specializes in our space and that we trust. Indigena has been the only pure-play equity partner that has partnered with us to provide equity capital on a number of commercial opportunities beginning in 2012, bringing over $200 million to enable our active participation in our resources, renewable resource opportunities and in building our agribusiness portfolio.”
Pearl Casias, former Chairwoman, Southern Ute Tribe, U.S.A. adds: “The strong, courageous, and visionary leadership of our Tribe, combined with Mr. Jurrius’ support of our financial plan and a means to access capital, made it possible for us to make necessary changes that created economic security for our people in perpetuity. By launching the Indigenous Equity Partnership Fund, Indigena Capital will be able to assist many Nations in attaining meaningful economic change.”
“While the need for economic self determination has always been present for Indigenous communities and businesses, the distinct lack of competition of capital has often resulted in limited choices. Fortunately, awareness is increasing within the capital markets and there are increasing opportunities to increase both the access and breadth of capital solutions, ranging from debt to equity. This development is at the forefront of many capital markets conversations, as it relates to delivering capital that works on economic, environmental, social, and governance dimensions,” said Jon Horsman, CEO, ATB Capital Markets. “While there is now more debt capital available from provincial and federal governments, the relative lack of equity capital has made it nearly impossible for Indigenous communities and businesses to grow, scale, and pursue a vision for themselves. ATB Capital Markets has identified Indigena’s unique scalable platform and successful track record for both Indigenous and investor communities, as a bridge over that gap.”
With trillions of dollars of capital focused on both returns and the Environmental Social Governance (“ESG”) metric, the Indigena model offers direct quantifiable and intentional social impact within an ESG framework while achieving sector returns for investors. Indigena’s fund will facilitate deployment of capital in alignment with Indigenous communities in North America, one of the most underserved emerging markets.
ATB Capital Markets USA Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of ATB Financial, has been engaged to act as the placement agent and advisor to the Fund.
Indigena partners with Indigenous Nations to assess their unique rights and resources, investing early-stage capital to assist them in taking an active role in development. Indigena has specialized in partnering exclusively with Indigenous Nations in Canada and the United States of America for over three decades. Through disciplined capital allocation, the return expectations of investors can be met while creating the foundation for self-sustaining economies for Nations. For more information please visit: www.indigenacapital.com.