Press Release: Block x FAC Investment
Global Tech Backs Indigenous Business Sector with AUD$3M Investment in First Australians Capital
13 November, 2023
Block Inc (NYSE: SQ), a global technology company best known in Australia for its Square and Afterpay businesses, is investing AUD$3 million in capital to First Australians Capital Catalytic Impact Fund.
Since 2016, First Australians Capital (FAC) a national Indigenous-led fund manager and business advisory organisation has worked with over 800 Indigenous businesses and entrepreneurs. FAC invests into Indigenous led businesses to grow and scale, which have historically had to rely on unsuitable financial products from traditional banks.
Block Head, Jack Dorsey, was in Melbourne to meet with the FAC team and finalise the commitment.
“I’m thrilled that we can make our first social impact investment here with First Australians Capital, an organisation dedicated to helping Indigenous-led businesses find better solutions to thrive,” said Jack. “We know first-hand that many people are left out of the economy by mainstream services, that’s why our business exists, so it’s great to find a partner equally aligned to financial inclusion.”
Block is made up of ecosystems, including Square, Cash App, Spiral, TIDAL, and TBD, with a united purpose of expanding economic access for everyone. Today’s investment comes from its US$100m social impact investment fund, which was established in 2020 to support minority and underserved communities, allocating US$10 million for social impact investments in markets outside the U.S.
“The Indigenous business sector can be a powerful economic contributor to community and inter-generational wealth creation for First Australians,” said Brian Wyborn, Managing Partner at FAC. “We are delighted to have Block onboard as an investment partner for our new fund that will help us expand critical scale-up support services to even more Indigenous-led businesses across Australia.”
Dr Clinton Shultz, founder of popular non-alcohol beverage brand Sobah, knows first-hand the success that can be achieved with the right support.
“The capital and services we have been able to access through our partnership with FAC has been a game-changer for our business, with our products now sold at hundreds of retailers across the country. Accessing capital remains a huge challenge for Indigenous entrepreneurs who want to grow so this investment is a huge vote of confidence for our business sector, and our broader community, at a time when we need it most.”
First Australians Capital (FAC) is a national Indigenous-led fund manager and business advisory organisation that connects investment markets with the Indigenous economy, offering accessible, patient debt finance to support Indigenous businesses and address racial inequity in Australia’s finance sector. FAC focuses on diverse, impact-driven investments into Indigenous-led businesses that create long-term social and environmental impact for Indigenous businesses and communities. Since 2016, FAC has worked with over 800 Indigenous businesses, and leveraged more than $70mil in capital to scale sustainable Indigenous businesses.
Block, Inc. (NYSE: SQ) is a global technology company with a focus on financial services. Made up of Square, Cash App, Spiral, TIDAL, and TBD, we build tools to help more people access the economy. Square helps sellers run and grow their businesses with its integrated ecosystem of commerce solutions, business software, and banking services. With Cash App, anyone can easily send, spend, or invest their money in stocks or Bitcoin. Spiral builds and funds free, open-source Bitcoin projects. Artists use TIDAL to help them succeed as entrepreneurs and connect more deeply with fans. TBD is building an open developer platform to make it easier to access Bitcoin and other blockchain technologies without having to go through an institution.
First Australians Capital
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Brian Wyborn, FAC Managing Partner
Jack Dorsey, Block Head
Leah Armstrong, FAC Chairperson
Jane Pound, FAC Executive Director – Legal
Benson Saulo, FAC Managing Partner