Mirova acquires renewables financier SunFunder

June 20 (Renewables Now) - Paris-based impact investor Mirova announced on Monday that it has acquired SunFunder, a private debt management firm that finances renewable energy projects in Africa and Asia, to expand into emerging markets and real assets.

SunFunder was set up as a crowdfunding platform ten years ago, with a focus on offering financing solutions for the decentralised solar sector in Africa. Since then, it became involved in the blended finance space, closing over USD 165 million (EUR 156.5m) in investments and supporting projects such as off-grid solar home systems in Malawi, village mini-grids in Kenya, and commercial and industrial rooftop installations in Nigeria and Thailand, according to the announcement.

Mirova will retain SunFunder’s entire team, based mainly in Nairobi, Paris and London, it said. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.

The first objective for Mirova and SunFunder will be to launch a solar energy debt financing fund, with an investment capacity of USD 500 million through around 70 projects spanning Africa, Asia and Latin America. The first closing could occur by the end of the year, said Mirova.

“In order to thoroughly address the challenges that come with the fight against global warming and social inequalities, having a local presence in emerging countries is critical. We are delighted that SunFunder's teams, with their proven experience and expertise, are joining us. Together, we will pursue our efforts to meet the needs of the real economy and increase the impact of our investments,” Mirova CEO Philippe Zaouati commented.

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