Toronto, 27 October 2021 – Convergence, the global network for blended finance, launched the 5th edition of the State of Blended Finance report today.
Convergence’s keystone report provides an updated analysis of the blended finance market, including blending approaches, sectors, regions, and investor trends. This year’s report focuses on achieving scale in blended finance.
The report found that since 2015 annual blended finance capital flows have averaged approximately $9 billion. However, like the rest of the global financial system, the blended finance market was impacted by the unprecedented effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, the year covered by the current report, blended finance flows were significantly lower at $4.5 billion. Within the aggregate figures, the private sector financing component was also lower than previous years, representing $1.1 billion in 2020, compared to $2.2 billion in 2019. In the past decade or so, aggregate blended finance flows have totaled just over $160 billion.
The use of blended finance as a tool by investors also remains limited. Most organizations (62%) tend to participate in blended finance on a one-off basis, only a minority of organizations have made multiple commitments to blended transactions (22% have made three or more commitments, 10% have made four to 10 commitments, and 5% have made over 10).
“We hope the decrease in flows, at a time when attention to blended finance is not waning but mounting exponentially, is just a blip caused by the ongoing pandemic,” says Joan Larrea, CEO at Convergence. “Still, it’s a reminder that we must go from talk to action. At the current rate we’re not going to get from billions to trillions. That’s why this year’s report is on scale. With the Decade of Action already upon us, coupled with the real and long-term impacts of COVID-19 on global development, it’s time for blended finance to reach its full potential and meet its promise of attracting private capital into emerging markets at volumes never seen before.”
As the world gears up for COP 26, scaling the blended finance market will be especially critical for climate action. The report finds that about 50% of all transactions target Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are related to climate change (e.g. Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy; Goal 11: Sustainable Cities; or Goal 13: Climate action). These transactions have mobilized approximately$105 billion in aggregate financing to date – with an average deal size greater than $312 million – and span a wide range of thematic areas, including off grid energy development, conservation finance, and climate-smart agriculture.
The report identifies four major challenges that have held blended finance back from scaling, including: 1) Lack of a private sector mobilization strategy and action plan among donors; 2) Low levels of coordinated participation from developing country governments and untapped domestic resources; 3) Lack of transparency on blended finance activity; 4) An underdeveloped blended finance ecosystem. The report also provides recommendations for addressing these challenges, which are supported by guest perspectives from experts from BlackRock, the Center for Global Development, International Finance Corporation, Ghanaian Ministry of Finance, Publish What You Fund, and many more.
Analysis in the report draws from Convergence’s Historical Deals Database, the largest and most detailed database of historical blended finance transactions, with nearly 680 closed blended finance transactions, capturing over 5300 individual investments disbursed by over 1450 unique investors.
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.
Sijia Yi Head of Communications Tel.: +1 647-573-5993 [email protected]