We are delighted to announce new equity investment from Shell. The round also included existing investors Schneider Electric and Better Ventures, each of which strengthened their commitment to SunFunder through a third successive investment.
SunFunder has built the most extensive track record of loans in the off-grid and weak-grid solar sector, offering flexible and scalable debt financing solutions. It has completed $45m of transactions with 40 solar companies in East Africa, West Africa and other developing regions.
This new investment by Shell supports SunFunder’s strategy of advancing the market by working with increasingly commercial investors, and blending both private and public capital into its debt funds. SunFunder is currently raising a new $100m Solar Energy Transformation Fund, building on its successful $47m Beyond The Grid Solar Fund and $15m of solar note issuances.
Ryan Levinson, SunFunder CEO, commented:
“The investment by Shell puts us on a new footing. Our vision has always been to make investing in solar energy access mainstream: Shell’s activity in energy access as a whole is a sign of where this sector is heading. We’re excited about our long-term investor relationships and what they mean for solving energy poverty and addressing climate change.”
SunFunder is Shell’s fourth investment in the energy access sector in the last six months, having backed SolarNow, SteamaCo and Husk Power Systems since December 2017.
Brian Davis, Shell Vice President Energy Solutions, commented:
“We’re interested in companies with viable, commercial business models for improving energy access in Africa and Asia. Emerging businesses in these geographies need access to affordable debt to reach scale, but they can struggle to access working capital and inventory loans.
“With its deep sector experience and local team, we believe SunFunder offers a strong value proposition to their customers and also their fund investors. We look forward to collaborating with SunFunder to support the growth of commercial businesses improving energy access.”