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How SunFunder Manages Millions in Capital Using Copper

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Author photo: Grace Lau

Grace Lau

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.

Where SunFunder is bringing solar energy

Founded in 2012, the business was created 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 don't have access to grid electricity, while another 1 billion have only unreliable power.

Solar energy not only provides lighting for off-the-grid households, but it also powers televisions and refrigerators, and allows businesses to stay open after dark—a luxury that many of us take for granted. Imagine not being able to pick up anything at the grocery store on the corner after 6pm...

How do you organize millions in capital?

As SunFunder started to power more and more markets, they began looking for an agile CRM to keep up with the company’s expansion.

That's where Copper comes in. SunFunder relies on Copper to manage two key sides of its business. On one hand, Copper helps keep debt funds organized. SunFunder has unlocked over $100 million of capital, mainly from accredited investors. They deploy these funds in a diversified portfolio of solar loans including working capital and structured receivables financing for solar companies in emerging markets.

The super customizable pipelines in Copper helps the team organize each stage and differentiate where capital is coming from—and who it is going to.

The 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.

In 2016, they began expansion into West Africa. Today, SunFunder is managing an expanding pipeline of international customers around the world—and has a whopping 25 users in Copper from Nairobi all the way to Hawaii.

“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.”

Doing good around the world

In 2019, SunFunder held the $42.5m first closing of a new $85m SET Fund, its third and largest debt fund to date. This fund will invest in residential and commercial-scale solar companies and projects primarily in sub-Saharan Africa and India.

We're so excited to be the tool that SunFunder's using to continue growing its transformational solar finance projects!

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