Impact investor responsAbility hits first close of $200m climate debt fund

Power grids. Photo: Fré Sonneveld/unsplash

Zurich-based impact investor responsAbility Investments AG, which is an active investor in India, Tuesday announced the first close of its climate debt fund at $151 million.

The fund, which is focused on Sub-Saharan Africa and South and Southeast Asia, could grow to $200 million. It aims to mark the second close later this year, the impact investor said in a statement.

The fund has received commitments from a number of prominent public and private investors, including AHL Venture Partners, Ashden Trust, Bank of America, Bohemian Impact Investments, Calvert Impact Capital, European Investment Bank, Dutch development financier FMO, International Finance Corporation and the government of Luxembourg.

The private debt fund will address the lack of access to clean power globally with a strong focus on the aforesaid regions. It is set up as a blended finance structure offering different risk tranches, the statement added.

“By partnering with entrepreneurs as a first commercial lender, we want to enable clean energy businesses to scale up their activities and attract more funding in the long run,” said Antoine Prédour, who oversees responsAbility’s energy debt financing activities.

The fund targets companies that provide solutions to households without access to electricity and to businesses looking for cleaner, cheaper and more reliable energy. responsAbility said that the fund is also the first of its kind to actively address the solar energy potential for the commercial and industrial sector.

Over the lifetime of the fund, portfolio companies are expected to provide clean power to more than 150 million people, add 2,000 MW of clean energy generation capacity, and reduce CO2 emissions by 6 million tonnes.

“By providing debt to companies supplying off-grid and distributed energy generation solutions to households and SMEs, the Fund will fill an important financing gap in a sector that is essential to achieving both economic and social development,” said Emma Navarro, Vice President, European Investment Bank (EIB).

Founded in 2003, responsAbility currently has over $3 billion of assets under management. It has invested in about 450 companies in 90 countries. Its portfolio companies in India include Satin Creditcare Network Ltd, a micro-finance institution, and commodities and rural finance company Origo, among others.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.