Global sustainability private equity (PE) investor GEF Capital Partners (GEF) has successfully raised nearly $200 million from global investors and completed the final closure of its South Asia Growth Fund II (SAGF II). SAGF II is a growth equity fund targeting climate-themed businesses in South Asia with a focus on India.

The amount was raised from a clutch of global investors including CDC Group of UK, European Investment Bank, Dutch investment firm FMO, Proparco, Swedfund, BIO, International Finance Corporation (IFC) — the private investment arm of the Word Bank, and the US Development Finance Corporation, GEF said.

SAGF II has already deployed over two-thirds of its commitments in multiple companies in India including Prince Pipes — a company serving the water and water conservation sector, SeedWorks in the hybrid climate-smart agricultural seeds sector, Premier Energies — an integrated solar cell and module manufacturer, Syrma SGS — an original design manufacturer of energy-efficient electronic devices and components, and 3SC — a supply chain decarbonisation analytics and solutions provider. 

“SAGF II was anchored by a large commercial asset management firm headquartered in Europe and builds on a $125 million predecessor fund that was led by key GEF team members,” GEF said.

‘Building resilience’

Raj Pai, one of the founders and Managing Partner at GEF Capital Partners, said, “GEF looks to invest capital in ways that operate effectively to improve the world around us while supporting commercially attractive returns to its investors.”

“In doing so, GEF seeks to partner with companies and management teams that are at the inflection point of growth and expansion. Climate growth investing is not just about achieving a positive environmental impact but also acts as a powerful operating and risk-mitigation theme. Focusing on the effects of climate change, along with the adoption of ESG and impact principles, can build resilience into companies’ business models,” said Pai.

‘Investment opportunity’

Sridhar Narayan, also a founder and Managing Partner at GEF Capital Partners, said, “The climate sector presents an investment opportunity of more than $1 trillion in South Asia. GEF looks to build on the team’s strong track record of investing and providing attractive exits from the India portfolio of GEF and Global Environment Fund, which has built several billion-dollar companies, including ReNew Power, one of Asia’s largest renewable energy generation companies and IEX, which is India’s largest energy exchange marketplace.“

“In particular, SAGF II will target a diverse set of companies along the resource efficiency supply chain with a focus on clean energy supply chain, energy efficiency technologies and services, efficient use of water resources and environmental products and services,” GEF said.