Raven Indigenous Outcomes Funds completes $20.4-million first close

New fund will invest in projects solving pressing challenges for Indigenous communities.

Raven Indigenous Outcomes Funds (RIOF), a recently formed brand under the Raven Fund Group, has completed the first close of a new fund that aims to help address pressing climate and health issues in Indigenous communities across Canada. 

The firm has closed $20.4 million for its first fund, which has a final target of $50 million. Investors in the first close include Boann Social Impact, Trottier Family Foundation, Lawson Foundation, the Christensen Fund, and the Sorenson Impact Foundation, among others.

“This strong first close of our initial fund shows just how confident investors are in our impactful projects.”

The new fund will take what it calls an “outcomes-based” approach to investing. RIOF will invest in community-driven outcomes contracts (CDOCs), which the firm described on its website as employing a financial model that combines private, philanthropic, and public capital to “drive positive, long-term systemic change.” 

This model will see RIOF and its partners identify challenges within Indigenous communities, design interventions, secure government commitments, and attract private investment to implement solutions to those challenges.

“This is not a typical fund,” Jeffrey Cyr, founder and managing partner of RIOF and co-founder of Raven Indigenous Capital Partners, said in a statement. “Instead, it is a groundbreaking investment opportunity that guarantees positive social impacts for Indigenous communities.”

Created in 2023, RIOF is one of several brands under the Raven Fund Group. The group’s venture capital arm is Vancouver-based Raven Indigenous Capital Partners. Last year it held the final close of its $100-million second fund, which invests in Indigenous enterprises. Raven Capital launched its first fund in 2019 with an initial goal of $5 million, but closed with $25 million.

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“This strong first close of our initial fund shows just how confident investors are in our impactful projects, and how outcomes-based finance is changing the game as an effective form of impact investing,” Cyr added.

RIOF has a few investments in its portfolio. The first is a climate-focused CDOC in Fisher River Cree Nation and Peguis First Nation, which installed 124 geothermal exchange units and provided on-reserve housing retrofits. Raven said it engaged in an outcomes contract with the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and Efficiency Manitoba, noting the contract was valued at $5.1 million.

The fund has also invested in a CDOC that aims to reduce the burden of type 2 diabetes in the Island Lake Anishininew Nation in Manitoba, as well as another geothermal exchange CDOC in Sioux Valley Dakota Nation.

According to RIOF’s website, the fund is targeted to make six to eight investments between $2 million and $7 million in the four years following its final close. In its statement, RIOF noted the fund will continue to accept new investments throughout the year.

Feature image courtesy Raven Indigenous Capital Partners.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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