Friday Funds: Mirova reaches $171m at first close of clean energy fund

The latest developments in ESG-related funds: Swen Capital Partners closes ocean fund at €170m; IFC invests in Mongolia's first green bond.

Mirova has raised $171 million for the first closing of its blended finance fund aimed at accelerating the clean-energy transition in emerging countries across Africa, APAC, Latin America and the Middle East. The Mirova Gigaton Fund is targeting $500 million and expects to deploy $1.2 billion of private debt to SMEs in solar home systems, agri-solar, commercial and industrial solar, telecom tower solarisation, mini-grids and other sectors. The Article 9 fund aims to offset CO2 emissions, create jobs, advance gender equality and improve energy access in line with several of the UN SDGs.

Swen Capital Partners has closed its Blue Ocean Fund at €170 million, exceeding its target by €50 million. Institutional investors from across Europe and the US account for more than 85 percent of the fund’s commitments. The most recent funding round saw investments from Abeille Assurances and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. Other investors include insurers MACIF and MAIF, banking group Crédit Mutuel Arkéa, the French Public Investment Bank (Bpifrance), Builders Vision, Ferd, the Planet Ocean Fund and Ifremer.

The International Finance Corporation has invested in Mongolia’s first green bond to encourage green and renewable projects in the region. The bond will be issued by the country’s largest commercial bank, Khan Bank. IFC is investing $15 million in the $60 million five-year bond. The offering has attracted another $45 million from investors, including $35 million from Dutch development bank FMO and $10 million from MicroVest Capital Management. IFC’s investment in the bond is expected to support Mongolia’s goal to increase green lending from 1.4 percent at present to 10 percent of all banking sector lending by 2030.

Robeco has launched a Sustainable Senior Loan Fund, its second closed-end private debt fund. So far, the fund has raised €130 million. The strategy applies sustainability screening based on the UN SDGs and looks to invest in green companies, as well as finance measures that a prospective borrower is willing to take to improve its sustainability profile. The fund will be managed by Robeco’s private debt investment team.

Cadence Design Systems – an American computational software company – has invested $50 million to support racial equity. In partnership with RBC Global Asset Management, Cadence will invest in the asset manager’s Access Capital Community Investing Strategy, which invests in US government-backed securities to support lending in historically underserved communities. Cadence is looking to support Black and Latinx individuals and communities across the US, but a portion of the investment will be focused internationally on projects aimed at supporting women and people of colour, as well as climate justice initiatives.

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation has pledged SFr15 million ($16 million; €15 million) to the Bamboo-UNCFD Initiative for the Least Developed (BUILD) fund. The funding includes SFr9 million specifically allocated to support projects in Zambia and Zimbabwe through UNCDF, as well as SFr5 million directly allocated to the global BUILD Fund. The fund is an innovative blended impact finance vehicle designed to support business opportunities that contribute to the UN SDGs in lower-income countries.

Emerging markets and sustainability specialist Actis has committed to aligning 60 percent of its total assets under management with net zero by 2030. The investment manager – which is a signatory to the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative – has also set a target for at least 50 percent of its AUM in 2030 to be invested in climate solutions. All its portfolio companies will also be required to develop board-approved net-zero plans within two years post-investment.