SunFunder Raises $17M in Equity and Debt in 2015
SunFunder (BVFI and BVFII portfolio company) had a banner year during 2015, raising $17M in equity and debt capital. In December, the company closed a $3.8M Series B round led by Treehouse Investments with participation from Better Ventures and other existing investors including Kholsa Impact, Schneider Electric, and Radicle Capital. The company will use the capital to continue to grow the team, expand into new geographies and solar project segments, and further build out their risk-mitigation technology platform. SunFunder also closed out the year with $13M in Solar Notes raised, which will be used to provide working capital, structured finance, and project finance loans to off-grid solar in the developing world. Backers of the Solar Notes include Iberdrola, Deutsche Bank, Ceniarth, the Packard Foundation, and Calvert, among many others.
We are thrilled with the tremendous progress the SunFunder team has made since we first backed the company in their seed round in early 2013. The market for off-grid energy in the developing world has grown rapidly since then, and 2015 was a record year with a total of $131M in equity capital pouring into the category. This growth was punctuated by Off-Grid Electric's $23M Series C round in October, which was led by DBL Partners with participation from SolarCity. While this market is becoming increasingly commercially viable, it is also changing people's lives for the better on a large scale. To date, SunFunder has enabled access to affordable, clean energy for over 550,000 people in Sub-Saharan Africa. Many of these individuals are getting access to energy for the first time, resulting in improved health, education, and social mobility.
If you'd like more information on SunFunder or Better Ventures, please don't hesitate to reach out. We will be holding a final close on our second fund this quarter, and we're happy to report that we're approaching our goal of $20M. Also, be sure to check out our upcoming Better Ventures PreSeed fireside chat at ImpactHub Oakland with Kristin Richmond, co-founder of Revolution Foods. You can register here.
Wes & Rick