ImpactAlpha, February 24 – Solar financing company SunFunder reached a $42.5 million first close for its Solar Energy Transformation fund, with backing from OPIC, Calvert Impact Capital, Ceniarth and IKEA Foundation.
The Nairobi-based company has been making loans to solar businesses in Africa since 2012 as a means of scaling access to clean energy in energy-poor regions. It has raised $100 million collectively across all of its investment funds, and has deployed $65 million in loans to companies like PEG Africa in West Africa and SolarNow in Uganda.
The Solar Energy Transformation fund is SunFunder’s largest fund, with a fundraising goal of $85 million. The company hopes loans made from the fund will improve access to clean energy for 2.8 million people and mitigate 480,000 tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere each year.
OPIC has committed $25 million in debt to the Solar Energy Transformation fund since last year. Commitments to the first close also include $7.5 million from Calvert Impact Capital, $5 million from Ceniarth, and a $5 million grant from the IKEA Foundation. OPIC, Calvert and Ceniarth are all prior backers of SunFunder.