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CDC to increase early stage VC investments

Anna Lyudvig
Nov. 2, 2021, 2:26 p.m.
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CDC is planning to increase venture capital investment in early stage, technology-based businesses that have the potential to play vital roles in the fight against climate change.

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CDC is planning to increase venture capital investment in early stage, technology-based businesses that have the potential to play vital roles in the fight against climate change.

This will be supported by the £200m Climate Innovation Facility announcement by the UK Government at COP26 in Glasgow. 

The new fund has been set up to provide finance for the most pioneering climate solutions in developing countries. 

By testing – and then scaling – the most effective solutions, CDC will aim to seed new markets for investment.

The first beneficiary of the new fund is Pula, a Kenya based agritech business. 

The purpose of the capital is to pilot a new “Pay-at-Harvest” insurance product, something which is virtually untested in Africa but has the potential to significantly increase smallholder uptake of insurance, delivering both development and climate impacts.  

In addition, CDC has unveiled new climate related investments in Africa: $37m in Africa Renewable Energy Fund II, a fund that invests in in small hydro, wind, geothermal and solar projects across sub-Saharan Africa; and $10m of follow up investment in M-Kopa, the Kenyan off-grid solar company that provides vital power for homes and communities in rural locations.

CDC Group has also announced over £3bn to support emerging economies in Africa and Asia to combat the climate emergency.

The commitment will make CDC one of the world’s largest climate finance investors in Africa and select South Asian markets. 

The announcement contributes to the ‘Clean Green Initiative’ announced this week by the Prime Minister to help developing countries take advantage of green technology and grow their economies sustainably.

The £3bn of climate finance from CDC will be invested over the next five years across a number of different sectors, such as renewable power, infrastructure and agriculture, including forestry. 

It will be deployed to support emerging economies to meet their Paris Agreement goals, and to adapt and become more resilient to the impacts of the climate emergency that are already being felt today.

CDC expects power generated from is rapidly expanding portfolio of renewable power investments to double in size over the next five years. The proportion of electricity generated by renewables across CDC’s entire energy portfolio will grow from 32% to about 70% over the same period, as new investments come online.

Nick O’Donohoe, Chief Executive of CDC, said: “The financial commitment announced today will mean that CDC will become a global leader in climate finance in Africa and South Asia. COP is about making specific commitments to act, and this is demonstrated by a doubling of our financial support to those countries most vulnerable to the ravages of the climate emergency.”

Over the period 2017 to 2020, CDC invested over $1bn in climate finance across Africa and South Asia. 

The organisation’s portfolio of over 1000 investments will be net zero by 2050 at the latest.

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