Dealflow | March 8, 2021

SunFunder reaches $70 million close for Solar Energy Transformation Fund

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, March 8 – SunFunder’s Solar Energy Transformation Fund backs solar companies improving energy access across Africa and Asia. The off-grid solar finance company’s blended-finance fund closed $70 million with investments from OeEB, the development bank of Austria, Swedfund, Bank of America, Mercy Investment Services, the Schmidt Family Foundation and members from the Toniic impact investor network. 

The nine-year debt fund aims to back 50 solar energy companies serving three million people. The fund’s investments include distributed commercial and industrial solar projects, a growing segment of emerging markets’ off-grid energy sector (see, “CrossBoundary Energy’s fund exit is a proof point for Africa’s commercial solar market – and catalytic capital“).

SunFunder has facilitated $100 million in debt financing since 2012. It also invests from a $47 million Beyond the Grid Solar Fund and a $30 million managed account for the Kenya Ministry of Energy. 

Blended finance

The Solar Energy Transformation fund’s $42.5 million first close in 2019 included $25 million in debt from the U.S. International Development Finance Corp., or DFC, and a $5 million catalytic grant from IKEA Foundation. Calvert Impact Capital and Ceniarth also participated.