Toronto, December 16, 2021 – Six years since Convergence was launched, the global network for blended finance has supported blended finance solutions that have mobilized over $1.5 billion from public, philanthropic, and private investors to address the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in emerging markets.
The need to mobilize private sector capital has never been more urgent, as the SDG funding gap continues to grow, climate action stalls, and COVID 19 continues to ravage populations and devastate economies worldwide.
Over $1.5 billion catalyzed in blended finance deals is a major milestone not just for Convergence, but for the blended finance market as a whole, which continues to struggle to achieve scale. Convergence is an important example of how donors can be more catalytic with their grant funding. In Convergence’s case, a relatively small amount of grant capital from donors, including the Government of Canada, the Australian Government, RS Group, and the MacArthur Foundation, has gone on to establish an ecosystem builder that now generates its own revenue line, while delivering outsized and lasting impact to the market.
“The impact of the $1.5 billion milestone is manifold. There’s the mobilization impact, where additional capital is unlocked for the SDGs. There’s ecosystem additionality, meaning we provide a chance for new concepts to reach the market. There’s also the underlying development impact, each deal Convergence supports, in one way or another, goes on to improve the lives of real people, whether it’s by offering them renewable sources of energy or improving their access to healthcare. The field is still far from going from billions to trillions, but as far as the impact a single organization can make, I’m very proud of what we have been able to achieve in six years,” says Joan Larrea, CEO at Convergence.
In concrete terms, this capital was mobilized through Convergence’s market acceleration activities, specifically the Design Funding program, which awards grants to design blended finance solutions that attract private capital to global development at scale, and from Convergence’s deal matchmaking platform, which seeks to connect investors to blended finance deals. Convergence’s other core activities, as a global network, data aggregator, knowledge producer, and capacity builder, reinforce our market acceleration and deal matchmaking work, bolstering the market as a whole and facilitating capital mobilization.
Through Convergence’s Design Funding program over $8 million has been awarded to 29 blended finance solutions in a variety of sectors and geographies. A significant proportion of the $1.5 billion mobilized comes from our early Design Funding support to Aligned Climate Capital to coordinate and design the Climate Finance Partnership (CFP), an unprecedented blended finance partnership between the world’s largest asset manager - BlackRock - and leading philanthropies and governments. At COP26, BlackRock announced an initial financial close of $673 million.
Convergence also provided early Design Funding support to The Nature Conservancy and its NatureVest impact investing team to design debt conversions for ocean conservation. This initiative led to the recent announcement of a $364 million financial close at COP 26, making it the world’s largest marine-focused debt conversion to date.
“Global capital markets can play an essential part in achieving the scale and pace of conservation we need to tackle the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss,” said Slav Gatchev, Deputy Managing Director responsible for Sustainable Debt at The Nature Conservancy. The early catalytic support from Convergence allowed us to demonstrate how science, policy, and private finance with public risk mitigation can help countries reach conservation goals while supporting nature-based economies and livelihoods.”
To date, 150 deals have been posted on our deal matchmaking platform, of which around 30% have gone on to raise additional financial commitments after being listed. Our member Earthspark International was able to secure a $9.9 million commitment from the Green Climate Fund’s Private Sector Facility.
"After posting on the Convergence platform, EarthSpark was contacted by a member of the Green Climate Fund's Private Sector Facility with an invitation to submit a proposal for an RFP. We have now received GCF board approval for $9.9M of support and are working to secure the required co-financing to bring clean, reliable electricity to 80,000 people in rural Haiti. Blended project finance for aggregated clean energy microgrids is complex, but with the good guidance of Convergence, we are getting it done!" - Allison Archambault, President, EarthSpark International Convergence is currently accepting proposals for its three open Design Funding Windows: the Gender-Responsive Climate Finance Window, focused on the intersection of climate change and gender equality in emerging markets globally; the Asia Natural Capital Window, focused on natural capital in Asia; and the Indo-Pacific Window, focused on climate finance and gender equality in the Indo-Pacific region.
To post a deal on Convergence’s deal matchmaking platform, your organization must first register as a Convergence member and the deal must 1) have a blended finance structure, 2) have confirmed third party interest, 3) have a minimum ticket size of $ 5 million, and 3) target at least one Sustainable Development Goal in a developing country(ies).
Convergence is the global network for blended finance, and generates blended finance data, intelligence, and deal flow to increase private sector investment in developing countries. Our global membership includes public, private, and philanthropic investors as well as sponsors of transactions and funds. We offer this community a curated, online platform to connect with each other on blended finance transactions in progress, as well as exclusive access to tailored trainings and original knowledge products such as case studies and reports. To accelerate advances in the field, Convergence also provides grants for the design of blended finance solutions that could attract private capital to global development at scale.
Head of Communications