Case Studies

SunFunder Transforms Solar Financing while Using Copper

Copper Blog

In many developing countries, solar power is now cheaper than expanding the grid, driving an energy transformation that parallels the way that cell phones have leapfrogged landlines. The team at SunFunder is dedicated to helping these emerging markets flourish.

The business was created five years ago to offer debt financing for solar companies and projects delivering solar beyond the grid. The opportunity is huge: more than 1.2 billion people around the world do not have access to grid electricity, while a further 1 billion have only unreliable power. Solar not only provides lighting for off-grid households, but it powers televisions and refrigerators and allows businesses to stay open after dark.

Organizing Millions in Capital

As SunFunder started to power more and more markets, they began looking for an agile CRM to keep up with their company’s expansion. SunFunder relies on Copper to manage both sides of its business. On one hand, Copper helps keep debt funds organized. SunFunder has unlocked over $40 million of capital, mainly from accredited investors in the United States. They deploy it in a diversified portfolio of solar loans, including working capital and structured receivables financing, for solar companies in emerging markets. In turn, custom pipelines within Copper differentiate where capital is coming from, and who it is going to.

sunfunder team

Streamlining Communication Across Multiple Continents

On the other hand, Copper has streamlined global communication for the company. Much of SunFunder’s lending team is headquartered in East Africa, where the off-grid solar market first took off. Their customers are global, though – in 2016, they also completed solar transactions in West Africa, in India and as far afield as Vanuatu in the Pacific Islands. Copper has enabled SunFunder to manage an expanding pipeline of international customers around the world.

“Working with the Copper team has been great,” says Audrey Desiderato, Chief Operating Officer at SunFunder. “The customizable pipelines, Gmail integration and operability across international teams have been especially powerful features for us.”

In 2016, SunFunder had its breakthrough year, growing both its debt funds and solar loan portfolio three-fold. Copper is excited to be the tool the company will keep growing its transformational solar finance with.