FMO recently invested USD 2.8 million into Acumen’s Pioneer Energy Investment Initiative (PEII), surpassing the PEII’s goal of raising $20 million to bridge the funding gap in off-grid energy and accelerate energy access across the developing world.
With the PEII, Acumen’s aim is to reach 2.8 million new customers through its portfolio of early-stage clean energy companies by 2026. Since launching the initiative in 2017, Acumen has invested more than $7 million into eight pioneering companies. These investments, which include PEG, Easy Solar, KopaGas, PowerGen, RVE.SOL, Promethean Power Systems and Simusolar have together reached more than 675,000 people.
FMO invested from its Access to Energy Fund (AEF), a fund FMO manages on behalf of the Dutch government. “Acumen is excited to partner with FMO, a development finance institution that recognizes the importance of using catalytic capital to help close the ‘Pioneer Gap’, the early stage of growth where companies experience the greatest challenge attracting financing,” says Leslie Labruto, Global Energy Lead at Acumen.
“Acumen has proven to be a very unique impact investing partner in the off-grid energy space. This partnership assists in bringing electricity to the still more than 800 million people lacking access to energy. Acumen’s involvement will help the growth of innovative early-stage companies that are too risky for bank financing,” says Idsert Boersma, Director Partnerships for Impact at FMO.
As part of its commitment, FMO will join the PEII advisory board, adding its several decades of energy access investing experience. “Beyond financing, more is needed to create a sustainable private sector. With our Capacity Development Program, we transfer knowledge and skills to our clients to augment their business model and strengthen their organizations,” adds Boersma.
Since launching the PEII, Acumen has worked across every rung of the energy ladder, and seen important trends validating the momentum FMO’s partnership will enable us to continue:
Looking to the future, Acumen is more committed than ever to creating impact for low-income communities by investing in pioneering clean energy companies. With FMO’s support, along with other PEII Partners including IKEA Foundation, DFID, Signify Foundation, Autodesk Foundation and more, the opportunity to collectively move the needle in closing the Pioneer Gap in the energy-access sector is finally within reach.