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Solar Energy Transformation Fund gets oversubscribed at final close

Anna Lyudvig
March 9, 2021, 10:15 p.m.

Word count: 497

SunFunder has fully closed its oversubscribed $70m Solar Energy Transformation (SET) Fund, a blended finance vehicle focused on distributed solar and storage investments in Africa and Asia.

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SunFunder has fully closed its oversubscribed $70m Solar Energy Transformation (SET) Fund, a blended finance vehicle focused on distributed solar and storage investments in Africa and Asia.

The SET Fund has received investments from OeEB, Swedfund, Bank of America, Mercy Investment Services, The Schmidt Family Foundation and several individual investors, including from the Toniic impact investor network.

They followed $42.5m first close investors - the US Development Finance Corporation (DFC), Calvert Impact Capital, Ceniarth and the IKEA Foundation.

DFC is also a risk tool partner of the SET Fund, alongside Sida and MFX Solutions.

"SunFunder’s financing to expand access to clean, reliable energy to those living beyond the grid is having life-changing impacts for families across Africa. Not only does it create environmental and health benefits, but families are able to redirect energy savings to food, education and health care,” said Sarah Smith, director of Mercy Partnership Fund.

Ryan Levinson, CEO of SunFunder, said: ”We are so grateful to our new investor partners who believed in us and worked so hard to close the SET Fund, especially during a year with so many new challenges and uncertainties. Thanks are also due to our anchor investors who have now made repeat investments in our work over the years. We look forward to building on these new and existing partnerships as we expand our climate and energy access investments through SET and beyond.”

The SET Fund is a 9-year fund that enables to expand SunFunder’s debt financing options for high impact solar energy projects and companies in emerging markets.

“We have been closing new SET Fund investments with solar borrowers, which has helped take our overall track record to more than $140m closed (including direct investments and syndications we’ve led) for 56 companies in 23 countries,” said Levinson

“Our direct investments have improved energy access for 8 million people and mitigate 750,000 tons of CO2e emissions annually,” he added.

Sabine Gaber, member of OeEB’s Executive Board, said:

"Increasing access to energy while at the same time protecting our climate is a precondition for sustainable development and at the heart of OeEB’s strategy. Off-grid solutions have played a critical role in delivering clean, affordable and reliable energy, especially to rural populations. We are therefore proud to team up with SunFunder – an impact-driven and experienced partner in this field – and to back this innovative fund which improves access to energy for millions of people.”

"This investment addresses the critical need for access to affordable, clean energy in emerging markets, and helps to unlock capital that is needed to realize global commitments on climate change,” added Dan Letendre, managing director for ESG at Bank of America.

Dario Parziale, Director of Investment Research and Analysis at Toniic, said: "The SET Fund was considered one of the most transformative opportunities to enable access to clean energy in frontier markets, and the interested members of the Climate Working Group swiftly moved a collaborative due diligence process that led to a co-investment in January 2021."

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