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Inspired Evolution achieves second close of climate impact Evolution III Fund

13th June 2024

By: Schalk Burger

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

     

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Clean energy- and resource-efficiency-focused private equity firm Inspired Evolution has announced that it concluded the second close of its Evolution III Fund, which is its third energy transition net-zero climate impact fund, on May 31.

The fund welcomed ten new investors, including Mauritius Investment Corporation (MIC), which committed up to $20-million, and nine investors through Align Impact, which is an impact advisory firm comprising a mix of individuals, trusts and foundations.

The MIC aims to support the economic development of Mauritius through strategic investments. The MIC is a strategic accelerator that invests to ensure the nation’s wealth enhancement, Inspired Evolution said in a statement.

“We are delighted to partner with Inspired Evolution, which is a private equity investor focused on clean and renewable energy and energy transition. Our investment will help create a significant social, environmental and economic impact for Africa,” said MIC CEO Jitendra Bissessur.

Further, Align Impact is a female-founded investment advisory firm specialising in co-creating and implementing impact investment strategies for individuals, families, foundations, institutions and financial advisers.

“We are honoured to join forces with the experienced Inspired Evolution team in fostering a greener future for Africa. Evolution III represents an attractive opportunity to make a meaningful difference in addressing climate change while targeting strong returns for investors,” said Align Impact private funds director Yihana von Ritter.

“Scaling renewable energy in sub-Saharan Africa is not only a regional imperative but also a global one, essential to prevent locking into decades of fossil fuel infrastructure. The energy access component of the strategy, and thereby furthering social justice, is yet another compelling attribute of Inspired Evolution’s approach,” she said.

The Evolution III fund is an energy transition fund that offers investment strategies for traditional utility-scale, grid-connected independent power producer platforms and projects, decentralised commercial and industrial private offtake opportunities, off-grid solutions and energy-as-a-service mini and microgrid infrastructure-type opportunities.

Further, the fund will also look to invest growth equity into energy and resource-efficiency technology-based businesses that ‘do more with less’ and reduce resource footprints. Evolution III will provide investors with long-term capital growth and yield by taking significant minority and controlling equity and equity-related stakes, the private equity firm said.

The Evolution III Fund achieved its first close in March 2023, securing $199.4-million in conditional commitments from seven international investors, including the European Investment Bank, Netherlands Development Bank FMO, the African Development Bank, Finnfund, Swedfund, Swiss Investment Fund for Emerging Markets, and Emerging Markets Climate Action Fund.

Meanwhile, Inspired Evolution has been involved in financing the development and operations of more than 4 GW of renewable energy infrastructure-type generation projects and multiple growth equity investments across sub-Saharan Africa since 2007. The firm focuses on key climate-driven principal investment themes, namely clean energy infrastructure, energy access, energy and resource efficiency and the value chains that support them.

“We are excited to welcome ten new investors, including the MIC, to our Evolution III Fund, thereby supporting our mission to drive impactful, sustainable growth across the continent,” said Inspired Evolution co-founder and managing partner Wayne Keast.

“Our extensive 17-year experience in African clean energy and climate finance investments has been pivotal in achieving significant milestones. With 23 investments and 16 successful exits, the second close of Evolution III demonstrates the robustness of our investment strategy and the confidence our investors have in us,” he said.

The demand for climate-focused, socially responsible investments is at an all-time high. Institutional investors are increasingly looking for managers who not only adhere to global governance standards but also deliver substantial climate and social impacts, said Inspired Evolution co-founder and managing partner Christopher Clarke.

“Our first investments from Evolution III in independent power producers Red Rocket and Equator Energy exemplify our commitment to advancing Africa’s energy transition through sustainable energy solutions. The success of our second close underscores our team's deep expertise and unwavering commitment to achieving superior returns while promoting sustainable development goals,” he highlighted.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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