Animikii has raised the largest investment of its kind into Indigenous technology.
The Indigenous owned, values-based digital agency and social enterprise, based out of Victoria, British Columbia, has earned $1 million in financing from Raven Indigenous Capital Partners (Raven) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC).
The funds will be used to further build out the team and support the continuous development of Animikii’s Indigenous data sovereignty product to complement the company’s existing digital services.
“This $1 million in financing marks an historic event as it is the largest investment of its kind to support an Indigenous technology social enterprise on Turtle Island.” said Jeff Ward, who founded Animikii in 2003, becoming the first Indigenous certified B Corp in Canada. Ward continued, “We hope to lead the way for other Indigenous tech companies to access capital at this level in the future.”
The financing consists of $750,000 equity investment from Raven, who will be joining Animikii’s board. Jeff Cyr, Managing Partner at Raven said, “As an Indigenous impact investor in Canada, we found the perfect partner in Animikii, a cutting-edge tech firm with a deep impact narrative and Canada’s first Indigenous B Corp, it’s really a trifecta for impact investment. We believe Animikii is amongst the first in a wave of high value Indigenous social enterprises.”
BDC’s support comes through its Indigenous Entrepreneur Loan Program at $250,000, and reinforces its track record of supporting Indigenous entrepreneurs over the years, with a current Indigenous entrepreneur client base of over 600 for $325 million.
“Indigenous entrepreneurs face unique challenges in accessing financing; Animikii is a shining example of the emerging, innovative businesses we want to help succeed,” added Ryan Mclean, Vice President of BDC’s Indigenous Business Unit.
Ward added: “We’re honored to receive this level of support from two amazing, values-aligned organizations. We have a lot of work ahead of us as we continue developing technologies to support Indigenous data sovereignty at scale.”