May 18, 2023 - Business

The Shift: Natural Capital fund eyes Northwest Arkansas

Illustration of a pattern of rolled up twenty dollar bills.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Private investment firm Natural Capital of Little Rock will look to commit money in Northwest Arkansas in coming years.

Driving the news: The firm launched its Fund II last November, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and has $80 million in commitments from investors. The group will continue raising money through the coming fall.

Details: Natural Capital's first fund mostly invested in real estate — including medical office, workforce housing and industrial warehouse space, managing partner Brad Henry told Worth.

  • Projects in the $10 million to $40 million range are the firm's "sweet spot," he said.
  • The fund also considers some limited, later-stage companies that have posted $2 million to $15 million in earnings.

By the numbers: More than 370 apartments under construction in NWA are part of Natural Capital's portfolio, including a redevelopment project in downtown Rogers with 100 units and another 121 units in that city's First Street Flats.

  • It's also backing a 152-unit project dubbed Pure Lowell.

Between the lines: Natural Capital's investment team includes four members from NWA:

  • Ben Hearnsberger, vice president of Natural Capital, also lives in NWA.

The bottom line: NWA is on investors' radar with record venture capital deployed last year and recent announcements in the $100 million range.

  • And, we're glad to see warehouse space is a priority for Natural Capital, since the area essentially had no available space at the end of 2022.

🏡 The Shift is a regular feature to catch up quick on what's happening in the state's economy and entrepreneurial ecosystem.


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