Started in 2012, SunFunder is a solar financing company focused on driving a global energy transformation by increasing energy access in a sustainable and scalable way. From inception, SunFunder was a pioneer in offering debt financing for off-grid solar companies serving household consumers.
Over 2.2 billion people around the world have no access to grid electricity or have unreliable power. Solar energy can solve a large part of the problem at scale and in an economical way. There is an opportunity for residential and commercial solar enterprises to provide clean energy and more reliable power as well as create jobs in developing economies.
Rising up to meet this challenge, SunFunder has created the $70 million Solar Energy Transformation Fund. The fund will provide innovative financing solutions, such as debt and equity financing, to increase access to capital for high-impact, beyond-the-grid solar companies and projects across Sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia. By financing solar businesses through the SET Fund, SunFunder expects to directly impact 2.8 million people with improved access to clean energy and mitigate over 480k tons of CO2 emissions annually.
Impact: Daystar Power in Nigeria provides tailored clean energy solutions
One of SunFunder’s investees is Daystar Power, a solar developer in Nigeria with a mission of bringing clean, continuous and affordable power to West African businesses. Daystar Power specializes in providing solar power and energy efficient solutions for businesses in the commercial, industrial, and agricultural sectors. These solutions are highly scalable and will result in at least a 20% reduction in energy costs and a 50% reduction in diesel consumption for end users.
According to a recent study by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Nigeria has the largest potential for commercial and industrial solar in Africa because of the scale of the opportunity for diesel replacement. Daystar is a pioneer in the market, offering end users increased reliability as well as lower energy costs through solar and energy storage systems.
SunFunder and Daystar are also well aligned on gender parity. Both companies boast leadership teams comprising almost 50% women. And SunFunder was co-founded by a woman and the chief executive of Daystar in Ghana is the youngest female Nigerian CEO in West Africa’s renewable energy sector. Daystar actively hires female engineers and managers and seeks to create an environment where women can drive development in Africa.
The Praxis commitment
Praxis Mutual Funds supports organizations such as SunFunder through investments in Calvert Impact Capital, an impact-investing institution that helps people around the world through community development financing. It’s part of the Praxis commitment to place approximately 1% of each of its funds to benefit neighborhoods and individuals through community development investments.