Ryan is a Baltimore native who has worked in the clean energy field since his time as a graduate student in the UK. Prior to SunFunder, he was VP of Environmental Finance at Wells Fargo and led $500 million of investments in more than 150 solar projects. Ryan founded SunFunder while working with off-grid solar companies in SE Asia and India in early 2012, where he was struck by the need for new financing solutions to make an off-grid solar revolution possible.
Audrey Desiderato Co-Founder & COO
Audrey is French-Indonesian and grew up in 9 countries. She is based in Nairobi, where she is responsible for growing the team and SunFunder’s portfolio. Prior to SunFunder, Audrey modeled clean energy projects for GI Energy, and performed market research for energy access impact investor E+Co. She was also a founding member of GOOD magazine. She is inspired on a daily-basis by our clients’ work and believes helping them scale is the best job in the world.
Alycia Kellman Chief Legal Officer
As SunFunder's lawyer, Alycia manages all corporate legal matters and structures the debt funds for SunFunder's solar loans. Prior to SunFunder, Alycia was the Vice President of Legal & Compliance at the Grassroots Business Fund. Alycia also previously consulted for FINCA International in Amman, Jordan and worked as a project finance attorney at Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP. She holds a law degree from Georgetown University, a master's degree in human rights and democratization from the University of Witwatersrand, and a bachelor's degree in political science from Yale University. Alycia has served on the boards of Women LEAD Nepal, Friends of IDASA, and the advisory boards of the New Markets Lab and the Georgetown Law and International Development Society.
Andrea Griffin Vice President Global Business Development
Andrea is focused on portfolio risk management and establishing new growth segments for SunFunder. Prior to SunFunder, Andrea was Head of International Business Development for Orb Energy based in Bangalore, India where she led international expansion into Africa. Andrea was also an Acumen Fund Global Fellow in India and summer energy associate in Pakistan. Prior, Andrea worked in Private Banking with Bear Stearns and J.P. Morgan. She completed her Masters in Energy from Columbia University and is Term Member at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Andrew Githaiga Head of Regional Lending, East Africa
Andrew is based in Nairobi and oversees our regional lending in East Africa. His focus is to drive business growth within the C&I sector in the region. Prior to joining SunFunder, he was the Senior Relationship Manager for energy at Jamii Bora Bank in Nairobi, with a focus on the renewable energy sector. His 5 years at Jamii Bora Bank saw him earn a wealth of experience lending within the SME sector. Andrew has also previously worked with Stanbic Bank Kenya as a Business Development Manager and with Morgan Stanley in Alexandria, Virginia as a Financial Advisor, as well as a stint in private family business. He holds a B.A. (Hons) in Economics and Finance from McGill University and is a Certified Credit Analyst.
Avi Jacobson Global Investment Officer
Avi is a Global Investment Officer at Sunfunder. He is responsible for managing relationships with Sunfunder's clients and optimizing their debt structure so that we can grow together. Prior to joining Sunfunder, Avi was the Director of Market Analysis at Lumos Global, a solar home system provider that launched initially in Nigeria. He began his career as a Special Operations Weather Team Leader in the US Air Force. Avi is a graduate of the Case Western Reserve University School of Law and, as a graduate of the University of Michigan, a proud Wolverine.
Baraka Megiroo Investment Officer
Baraka was born and raised in a Maasai community in Tanzania. Based in Nairobi, Baraka conducts research and analysis on the African solar sector, leads financial diligence on SunFunder’s potential and existing borrowers and supports the Lending team’s core operations, business development and monitoring activities. Previously, Baraka was Finance Officer – Revenue for Singita Grumeti Reserves in the Serengeti. At Singita, Baraka was also involved with the Community Development outreach team, working with neighbouring communities to develop small businesses that can be sustainable and replicable over time. Baraka holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Dodoma and is currently undertaking CPA (T) classes.
Catherine Tarayia Head of Operations
Catherine joined SunFunder in March 2017 from Old Mutual Securities in Nairobi. Originally from Nairobi, she previously worked as a senior analyst at Bloomberg LP in London, and at Devonshire Partners and the CFA Society of the UK. She has two masters degrees, from the University of Sheffield and the University of Bath, an Award in Financial Planning from the Chartered Insurance Institute (UK) and has completed the first part of Kenya’s CMA international certification for the capital markets industry, provided by the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (UK).
Chris Kibe Legal Counsel
Chris is SunFunder’s transactional lawyer. Chris is responsible for structuring and documenting SunFunder’s loans. Prior to joining SunFunder, Chris worked at Anjarwalla & Khanna in Nairobi, Kenya as a banking and project finance attorney. Chris is a member of the California Bar.
Cindy Nawilis Director of Investor Relations & Operations
Cindy grows the SunFunder community and ensures that every person, business, and organization connected to SunFunder gets the attention they deserve. Before joining SunFunder, Cindy was with Kopernik managing partnerships with Indonesian local NGOs and distributing clean cookstoves and water filters to rural communities. She is interested in all things related to appropriate technology and holds a B.A. in International Relations from New York University.
Daudi Mmbaga Senior Financial Analyst
Daudi was born in western part of Tanzania and has lived in Tabora region and Dar Es Salaam city. As Senior Financial Analyst, Daudi conducts financial diligence on SunFunder’s potential and existing renewable energy clients. He has five years’ experience with KPMG where he served as Audit associate, Audit in charge and Senior Auditor before joining SunFunder. Daudi holds a Bachelor of Accounting and Finance (BAF) from Mzumbe University and is an ACCA finalist.
David Battley Head of Credit
David spent almost a decade working in corporate debt origination in London, and a further 5 years working with both the charity SolarAid and its social enterprise arm SunnyMoney as part of the senior management team. David joined the Sunfunder team in August 2015. He has lived in sub-Saharan Africa since 2014 with his wife and son. David graduated with M/Chem (Oxon) Hons from Balliol College, Oxford University in 2001.
Dieter Van der Stock Head of Systems & Security
Dieter focusses on scaling Sunfunder through automation and tools for the team. He leads the efforts around web development, security policy, third-party applications and the creation of Sunfunder's support infrastructure. Prior to Sunfunder he worked as a software engineer in a number of startups, and co-founded a solar monitoring startup. He's passionate about technology, and how it can be leveraged to tackle the big challenges of today and tomorrow.
Geraldina Tarimo Financial Analyst
Geraldina was born and raised in Arusha, Tanzania. Geraldina conducts financial diligence on SunFunder’s potential customers and supports the Lending team’s main operations which include keeping the team informed of customer progress. She has worked as an Account and Auditor before becoming a Lecturer at Tumaini university Makumira where she currently lectures on Accounting, Finance and other business studies. Geraldina holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Dodoma and a Masters degree in Finance and Investment from Coventry University.
Gilbert West Systems Support & Development
Gilbert helps plan and introduce new systems into the team and ensure they work together in the best possible way. He has over 20 years experience in programming and web development. His recent background is in renewables crowdfunding and carbon-offsetting projects. Gilbert hails from Scotland, but has spent most of his life in London and Brussel, with stints in New York and Sana’a.
Isabelle de Cointet Solar Energy Finance Fellow
Isabelle is based in London with the fundraising team. She worked for 4 years at JP Morgan in London, as an Associate in the High Yield Credit Research team. She was keen to make a career shift to social finance and became passionate about off-grid energy access. Isabelle is French and has an MSc in Management with a Corporate Finance major from the ESSEC Business School, where she also did long-term internships in private equity (at mid-cap UK fund Lyceum Capital and at Ardian, fka AXA Private Equity) as well as in debt capital markets at JP Morgan.
Kathleen Tufts Bookkeeper
Kathleen Tufts is the bookkeeper at SunFunder, Inc. Most recently, she was at a non-profit fundraising for a group which taught peace-keeping skills to children in war-torn countries. Prior to her work with non-profit organizations, she managed accounting and payroll at Paradise Foods. Kathleen graduated from Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley. She has worked for a publicly traded leasing/transportation company in San Francisco and before that she was with KPMG.
Nico Tyabji Director of Strategic Partnerships
Nico is a native Londoner who joined SunFunder from Bloomberg New Energy Finance in July 2016. There, he led coverage of off-grid solar and energy access, which included co-authoring the Off-grid Solar Market Trends Report and coordinating Climatescope Africa. He has a Masters in International Affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.
Shelmith Theuri Investment Officer
Shelmith is responsible for leading deals and relationships with solar companies in East Africa and supporting business development activities by conducting due diligence and appraising the business risks of existing and new solar borrowers. She previously worked in various financial institutions in Kenya, where she held credit risk and relationship management roles. Most recently she was Credit Manager - SMEs in Barclays Bank Kenya. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Finance from the University of Nairobi, is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA K), and an Associate of the Kenya Institute of Bankers (AKIB).
Surabhi Visser Global Investment Officer
Surabhi is responsible for supporting SunFunder's clients by structuring bankable financial solutions that address their capital needs and growth strategies. Surabhi joined SunFunder from MRI Group in Singapore where she led the structured trade finance team globally. Prior to that, she was a member of SMBC’s power & infrastructure project finance team and also has worked at Standard & Poor’s securitisation team. Surabhi holds an MBA from HEC Paris and a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Georgetown University. Surabhi has lived in 9 different countries and is based in Nairobi, Kenya.
Susan Grover Director of Finance
Susan oversee corporate finance matters, including accounting, financial budgets and reporting, payroll, tax and insurance, and serve as a link between operations and accounting. She has over 15 years of international finance experience. She worked for Deloitte, JP Morgan and in the Family Office space. She is a licensed CPA.
Popo Drone Aerial Camera
SunFunder has a non-human team member. It's a quadcopter, a drone, an elevated photography platform. Initially it was called 'Dr. One' (can you see what we did there?), until some kids in Ngaramtoni in Tanzania lovingly named it 'Popo'. We loved that name so it stuck. In the last few months, Popo has travelled to 11 countries and has helped document how solar is being used in emerging markets.