Kenya-based SunFunder has announced a $42.5 million first close of its new Solar Energy Transformation (SET) Fund with anchor investments from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), Calvert Impact Capital, Ceniarth, and the IKEA Foundation.
Over the next nine years, the fund will work to expand debt financing options for high-impact solar energy projects and companies in emerging markets. Recent investments in the fund include $25 million in senior and junior debt commitments from OPIC, and investments of $7.5 million from Calvert Impact Capital and $5 million from Ceniarth, both to the senior tranche. In addition, the IKEA Foundation provided a $5 million grant as catalytic capital for the fund.
A pioneer in debt financing for off-grid residential solar companies, SunFunder has diversified its portfolio recently to support income-generating and productive-use assets as well as small commercial and industrial solar projects.
"The IKEA Foundation is supporting SunFunder with a $5 million grant for its important work in serving the off-grid communities in East and West Africa and India because we believe that helping families access renewable energy will enable them to afford a better everyday life while also protecting the planet," said IKEA Foundation program manager Jolanda van Ginkel.
"Ceniarth has been an active energy access investor for the past four years and has monitored activity closely across the sector," said Diane Isenberg, founder and director of the single-family office. "SunFunder has grown into a sophisticated and responsible lender in a market that continues to have significant complexity but critical impact. We are excited to invest alongside OPIC and Calvert Impact Capital in expanding the SET fund."
(Photo credit: SunFunder)