Last week, SunFunder announced the $42.5m first close of their new Solar Energy Transformation (SET) Fund with anchor investors the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), Calvert Impact Capital, Ceniarth and the IKEA Foundation. SunFunder has now closed $104.5m in its debt funds from 65 investors.
The SET Fund is a nine-year fund that will enable SunFunder to expand its debt financing options for high impact solar energy projects and companies in emerging markets.
“The SET Fund opens up new opportunities for SunFunder. As our largest and longest fund, it increases both the range and size of debt capital offerings that we can provide, especially for productive use solutions and commercial projects.” said Ryan Levinson, SunFunder founder and CEO.
“We’re grateful for the support from this investor group and pleased to be growing these long-standing relationships. Building trust and creating repeat opportunities for investors is key to scaling energy access.”
The first close includes OPIC’s $25m commitment of senior and junior debt announced last September. Since then, Calvert Impact Capital contributed $7.5m and Ceniarth contributed $5m, both to the senior tranche. The IKEA Foundation provided a grant of $5m as catalytic capital for the fund.
Ray W. Washburne, OPIC President and CEO, commented: “This project will advance OPIC’s mission of empowering people in some of the world’s poorest countries, by bringing affordable electricity to remote areas that are not connected to an electricity grid.
Jennifer Pryce, President & CEO, Calvert Impact Capital, commented: “We’re thrilled to work with this group of lenders to meet SunFunder’s growing capital needs. Continuing to scale proven fund managers like SunFunder is critical to creating access to capital for local businesses that are leading the energy transformation.”
SunFunder has now deployed $65m of debt financing to 46 solar borrowers in Africa and Asia, directly improving access to clean energy for over 5 million people while mitigating more than 450k tons of CO2 emissions annually.