Toronto, September 14, 2022 – Convergence awarded a proof-of-concept grant to Mirova SunFunder, a specialist financing company dedicated to scaling clean energy and climate investments in emerging markets. This grant will support in the design and launch of the Gigaton Empowerment Fund(1), a $500 million blended fund project managed by Mirova and advised by Mirova SunFunder. It will target investments in distributed clean energy and off-grid projects in emerging markets and will also apply a gender lens across several levels, including across the firm, investment lifecycle, investees, and in its supply chain. This is the first grant awarded through Convergence’s Gender-Responsive Climate Finance Window funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC).
Currently, over 750 million people globally have no access to electricity. This means that millions of families lack the foundation for social and economic development, remaining reliant on toxic and dangerous kerosene for lighting, while local businesses experience frequent power cuts and are unable to expand. Women are also disproportionately affected by poor access to electricity, as they often manage the day-to-day challenges of maintaining a household. As a result, many of the Fund’s impacts will directly benefit women.
The Design Funding grant from Convergence will enable to design one of the largest blended finance funds that will target both established and frontier segments in distributed clean energy/off-grid sub-sectors, such as commercial and industrial, telecom, solar home systems, agri-solar, mini-grids and e-mobility. Gigaton Empowerment Fund will target both middle-income countries and low-income and least developed countries where its impact would be most significant.
“With the Gigaton Empowerment Fund, for the first time, private institutional investors will be able to invest at scale in our industry. The partnership with Convergence will support several innovations: a credit rating of the super senior tranche to assess and confirm its investment grade risk, a unique gender lens investing approach, and financing climate innovations and distributed clean energy in new sectors and geographies, including Asia as well as Africa,” says Sébastien Duquet, Chief Commercial Officer at Mirova SunFunder
Mirova SunFunder is a leading debt-financing provider for distributed solar in Sub-Saharan Africa and other emerging regions. Aimed to be managed by Mirova and advised by Mirova SunFunder, the fund will build on SunFunder’s track record in distributed solar investments in Sub-Saharan Africa. The team has experience managing multiple blended funds focused on off-grid solar in Sub-Saharan Africa to date. However, this financing has been at a small scale so far and the Gigaton Empowerment Fund is among the first attempts to tackle these challenges at a much larger scale. Besides the scale of the vehicle, the Fund will seek an investment grade credit rating within the scope of Convergence’s grant funding.
“What attracted us to this Fund was the thoughtful and deliberate way it applies a gender lens into its design, while aspiring to being one of the largest blended finance funds. More evidence to support what we already know – you can support gender equality and attract serious capital at the same time,” says Joan Larrea, CEO at Convergence.
About Convergence’s Design Funding Program Convergence’s Design Funding Program operates as a market acceleration tool providing early-stage capital to support blended finance solutions in frontier markets and nascent sectors to accelerate the number of investible transactions in market targeting SDGs. The Gender-Responsive Climate Finance Window, funded by the Government of Canada, provides grant funding for the design, and launch of innovative blended finance solutions focused on the intersection of climate change and gender equality in emerging markets globally. Please visit Convergence’s Design Funding page for information on submission deadlines as well as other open windows.
About Convergence Convergence is the global network for blended finance. On top of market acceleration through its Design Funding program, Convergence generates blended finance data, intelligence, and deal flow to increase private sector investment in developing countries. Convergence’s global membership includes over 200 public, private, and philanthropic investors as well as sponsors of transactions and funds. To learn more, visit www.convergence.finance.
About Mirova SunFunder Mirova SunFunder, formed by the acquisition of SunFunder by Mirova in June 2022, has closed more than $175 million in debt financing to 58 solar borrowers in emerging markets, improving energy access for over 10 million people. Investments to date have been in the off-grid solar, mini-grid, productive use, C&I and telco ESCO sectors, in Africa, the Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Latin America. SunFunder won a UN Global Climate Action Award(2) at COP26 in Glasgow in 2021. For more information visit www.sunfunder.com.
About Mirova Mirova is a management company dedicated to sustainable investment and an affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers. Through conviction management, Mirova's goal is to combine long-term value creation and sustainable development. Pioneers in many areas of sustainable finance, Mirova's talents aim to continue innovating in order to offer their clients solutions with high environmental and social impact. Mirova and its affiliates manage €27.2 billion as of March 31, 2022. Mirova is a mission-driven company, labeled B Corp.
Portfolio Management Company - French Public Limited liability company
Regulated by AMF under n°GP 02-014
RCS Paris n°394 648 216
Registered Office: 59, Avenue Pierre Mendes France – 75013 – Paris
About Natixis Investment Managers Natixis Investment Managers’ multi-affiliate approach connects clients to the independent thinking and focused expertise of more than 20 active managers. Ranked among the world’s largest asset managers(3) with more than $1.3 trillion assets under management(4) (€1.187 trillion), Natixis Investment Managers delivers a diverse range of solutions across asset classes, styles, and vehicles, including innovative environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategies and products dedicated to advancing sustainable finance. The firm partners with clients in order to understand their unique needs and provide insights and investment solutions tailored to their long-term goals.
Headquartered in Paris and Boston, Natixis Investment Managers is part of the Global Financial Services division of Groupe BPCE, the second-largest banking group in France through the Banque Populaire and Caisse d’Epargne retail networks. Natixis Investment Managers’ affiliated investment management firms include AEW; AlphaSimplex Group; DNCA Investments(5); Dorval Asset Management; Flexstone Partners; Gateway Investment Advisers; Harris Associates; Investors Mutual Limited; Loomis, Sayles & Company; Mirova; MV Credit; Naxicap Partners; Ossiam; Ostrum Asset Management; Seeyond; Seventure Partners; Thematics Asset Management; Vauban Infrastructure Partners; Vaughan Nelson Investment Management; and WCM Investment Management. Additionally, investment solutions are offered through Natixis Investment Managers Solutions and Natixis Advisors, LLC. __Not all offerings are available in all jurisdictions. __For additional information, please visit Natixis Investment Managers’ website at im.natixis.com | LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/natixis-investment-managers.
Natixis Investment Managers’ distribution and service groups include Natixis Distribution, LLC, a limited purpose broker-dealer and the distributor of various U.S. registered investment companies for which advisory services are provided by affiliated firms of Natixis Investment Managers, Natixis Investment Managers S.A. (Luxembourg), Natixis Investment Managers International (France), and their affiliated distribution and service entities in Europe and Asia.
(1) The fund project currently known as the “GIGATON EMPOWERMENT FUND” aims to be structured in the form of a SICAV-FIAR (Société d’Investissement à Capital Variable – Fonds d’Investissement Alternatif Réservé) under Luxembourg law and to be managed by Mirova. Mirova SunFunder aims to be an investment advisor. At this stage, the fund has not received approval from any supervisory authority. The investment objective, strategy and key risks for this vehicle will be outlined in its regulatory documents. Investments in this fund will notably present a risk of capital loss and will be reserved only for specific investors as defined in the regulatory documents. This publication does not constitute an invitation, advice or recommendation to subscribe, acquire or dispose of units to be issued by the Fund. Nor is it Mirova’s commitment to structure and implement the fund, or any other vehicle.
(2) The reference to a ranking or a label does not prejudge the future performance of the funds or its managers
(3) Cerulli Quantitative Update: Global Markets 2021 ranked Natixis Investment Managers as the 15th largest asset manager in the world based on assets under management as of December 31, 2020.
(4) Assets under management (“AUM”) of current affiliated entities measured as of March 31, 2022 are $1,320 billion (€1,187 billion). AUM, as reported, may include notional assets, assets serviced, gross assets, assets of minority-owned affiliated entities and other types of non-regulatory AUM managed or serviced by firms affiliated with Natixis Investment Managers.
(5) A brand of DNCA Finance.