Dealflow | February 24, 2020

Dealflow: NFF’s L.A. supportive housing fund, SUSI raises for energy efficiency, Carolina Opportunity Funds’ first investment, LISC backs Lendistry, Lilac’s $20 million

The team at


Greetings! Here’s the latest impact investing deal news.

Nonprofit Finance Fund’s $10 million fund to spur homeless housing in L.A. Nearly 60,000 people lack permanent housing in the Los Angeles metro area. The deepening crisis has given rise to a raft of new supportive housing initiatives. To help such projects clear development hurdles, the Nonprofit Finance Fund launched a $10 million flexible loan fund for supportive housing developers. NFF’s Antony Bugg-Levine told ImpactAlpha he was surprised, with the capital, investor interest and community finance lending, “that there’s a gap for NFF to fill.” But even developers able to secure financing for specific projects often lack general enterprise financing, which is needed to keep project planning and execution in motion. The Accelerating Permanent Supportive Housing Fund will provide flexible loans that developers can use and reinvest in multiple projects over an extended period of time.

  • Urgent need. More than three-quarters of L.A.’s homeless are completely unsheltered and L.A. County is also home to nearly 15,000 chronically homeless people, triple the number in New York City. County Supervisor Janice Hahn has called for a “Marshall Plan” to address homelessness.
  • Catalytic capital. Backers of NFF’s fund include the California Community Foundation, Weingart Foundation and UniHealth Foundation. Three organizations chipped in grant funding. “We wouldn’t be able to do this prudently without credit enhancement support from two private foundations and one bank—a good example of what it takes to do high impact impact investing on the ground,” says Bugg-Levine. NFF has backed other permanent supportive housing initiatives, including Denver’s homelessness-focused social impact bond.
  • Dig in.

SUSI Partners raises €275 million for second European energy efficiency fund. The Swiss investment firm invests in clean energy generation, energy efficiency enhancements and energy storage. Two energy efficiency-focused funds support upgrades to buildings and other infrastructure. The firm has already invested €93 million in 17 projects in nine countries from the second fund and is aiming for a final close later this year.

Carolina Opportunity Funds’ first investment is in sustainable agriculture. The Opportunity Zone investor committed an undisclosed amount to BioEconomy Solutions, a Georgetown, S.C.-based sustainable grower of crops for food, biofuels and animal feed. The IMPACT Carolina QOZ Fund takes equity stakes in businesses operating in Opportunity Zones in North and South Carolina.

Local Initiatives Support Corp. closes loan to L.A.’s Lendistry. The financing will boost Lendistry’s balance sheet and help the Black-led community development financial institution support underserved and diverse business owners in Los Angeles. The loan is a first for LISC’s L.A. branch.

Lilac Solutions raises $20 million from Breakthrough Energy Ventures. The Bill Gates-backed fund invested in Oakland-based Lilac’s technology for making lithium-ion battery production more sustainable and less water-intensive.

–Feb. 24, 2020