LMD funding database

According to the GDC’s 2019 Last Mile Distribution: State of the sector report, last mile distributors (LMDs) have been surprisingly successful in accessing external financial support, given their small size. 86% of LMDs surveyed had raised grant funding, 69% had raised debt funding, 41% had raised equity funding – while 28% had raised all three types of capital.

Yet, most equity and debt had come from family, friends, angel investors, crowdfunders, or founders themselves; and access to finance is still consistently cited as GDC members’ top priority and challenge. The longer-term, larger-scale commercial financing needed for growth-stage companies is also not widely available. For more insights on this important topic, see our 2021 research: ‘The growth and fundraising journeys of LMDs‘.

Below are the donors, investors and lenders who have provided various forms of finance to GDC members. If you know of others, let us know!

Fund Name Type Size Sectors Geography Application Examples of GDC investees
Fund Name:
Acumen Fund
Type:
Patient capital (equity, quasi-equity or debt capital)
Size:
$250K - $3M
Sectors:
Agriculture, Health, Improved cooking, Off-grid solar, Other, Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)
Geography:
Africa, Asia, East Africa, Global, Latin America, North America, Sub-Saharan Africa, West Africa
Application:
Open (through referrals)
Examples of GDC investees:
Easy Solar, Frontier Markets, Solaris Off-grid, Simusolar, Tulaa
Fund Name:
AECF/REACT
Type:
Grants or repayable grants
Size:
$50K - $500K
Sectors:
Improved cooking, Off-grid solar
Geography:
Sub-Saharan Africa
Application:
Several windows a year
Examples of GDC investees:
Inyenyeri, Vitalite Zambia, Zonful Energy
Fund Name:
Beneficial Returns
Type:
Debt
Size:
$50K - $500K
Sectors:
Agriculture, Health, Improved cooking, Off-grid solar, Other, Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)
Geography:
Latin America and South East Asia
Application:
Open
Examples of GDC investees:
Ecofiltro, Ilumexico, Sistema.bio, Nazava, ATEC*
Fund Name:
bettervest GmbH
Type:
Crowdfunded loans
Size:
$100K - $2.5M
Sectors:
Improved cooking, Off-grid solar
Geography:
Borrower registered in Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, Singapore.
Application:
Open
Examples of GDC investees:
Vitalite Senegal, Bonergie, Bidhaa Sasa, WidEnergy Africa Ltd, Pawame
Fund Name:
Beyond Capital Fund
Type:
Early stage capital (equity and debt)
Size:
$25K - $200K
Sectors:
Agriculture, Health, Improved cooking, Off-grid solar, Other, Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)
Geography:
India and East Africa
Application:
Open
Examples of GDC investees:
Tulaa, Frontier Markets
Fund Name:
Charm Impact
Type:
Crowdfunded loans
Size:
$10K - $250K
Sectors:
Improved cooking, Off-grid solar
Geography:
Sub-Saharan Africa
Application:
Open
Examples of GDC investees:
Solibrium
Fund Name:
Clean Cooking Alliance
Type:
Grants
Size:
$50K - $500K
Depends on the competition
Sectors:
Improved cooking
Geography:
Global
Application:
Several windows a year
Examples of GDC investees:
Potential Energy, Bidhaa Sasa, UpEnergy, Livelyhoods
Fund Name:
D-Prize
Type:
Grants
Size:
up to $20K
Sectors:
Agriculture, Health, Improved cooking, Off-grid solar, Other, Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)
Geography:
Global
Application:
Bi-annual competition
Examples of GDC investees:
Altech, Mukuru Clean Stoves, Endurance Electric, Harness Energy, Deevabits Green Energy, Livelyhoods, Essmart
Fund Name:
DOEN Foundation
Type:
Grants and debt (convertible notes and equity also possible)
Size:
$25K - $250K
Sectors:
Improved cooking, Off-grid solar
Geography:
East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda) and India
Application:
Open
Examples of GDC investees:
Pollinate Group, Frontier Markets and Livelyhoods, Inyeneri, Jiro-Ve, Offgrid Box, Shine, Simusolar, Sistema.bio
Fund Name:
Drapers Richards Kaplan Foundation
Type:
Debt (unrestricted capital)
Size:
up to $300K
Sectors:
Agriculture, Health, Improved cooking, Off-grid solar, Other, Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)
Geography:
Global
Application:
Open
Examples of GDC investees:
Solar Sister, Pollinate Group, Livelyhoods
Fund Name:
elea foundation
Type:
Grants, convertible grants and equity for early-stage companies
Size:
$50K - $500K
Sectors:
Agriculture, Health, Improved cooking, Off-grid solar, Other, Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)
Geography:
Global
Application:
Open
Examples of GDC investees:
Essmart
Fund Name:
Energise Africa
Type:
Crowdfunded loans
Size:
$1.5M - $10M
per year (tranche based)
Sectors:
Improved cooking, Off-grid solar
Geography:
Africa
Application:
Open
Examples of GDC investees:
Altech, Oolu, Simusolar, UpOwa, SolarWorks!
Fund Name:
Energy and Environment Partnership Southern & Eastern Africa (EEP)
Type:
Grants
Size:
$200K - $1M
Sectors:
Improved cooking, Off-grid solar
Geography:
Southern and East Africa
Application:
Annual calls (2020 now closed)
Examples of GDC investees:
Inyenyeri, Livelyhoods, Solarworks!, Vitalite Zambia, Mukuru Clean Stoves, Offgrid Box, Sistema.bio, Zonful Energy
Fund Name:
ENGIE Rassembleurs d'Energies Solidarity Investiment Fund
Type:
Equity (minority stake)
Size:
$100K - $1M
Minority stake
Sectors:
Improved cooking, Off-grid solar
Geography:
Sub-Saharan Africa
Application:
Open
Examples of GDC investees:
Ilumexico, Frontier Markets, Sistema.bio, ATEC*
Fund Name:
FINCA Ventures
Type:
Equity or convertible notes
Size:
$100K - $500K
Sectors:
Agriculture, Health, Improved cooking, Off-grid solar, Other
Geography:
Sub-Saharan Africa
Application:
Open
Examples of GDC investees:
Fund Name:
Gaia Impact Fund
Type:
Equity
Size:
$150K - $500K
Sectors:
Improved cooking, Off-grid solar
Geography:
Global (sub-Saharan Africa preference)
Application:
Open
Examples of GDC investees:
Easy Solar, UpOwa, Solaris Off-grid, Oolu, Hybrid Social Solutions
Fund Name:
GrowFin Small and Growing Businesses Fund
Type:
Debt
Size:
$100K - $1.5M
Sectors:
Agriculture, Health, Improved cooking, Off-grid solar, Other, Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)
Geography:
South Africa, Zambia, Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Oman
Application:
Open
Examples of GDC investees:
Fund Name:
I&P (Investisseurs et Partenaires)
Type:
Debt, Equity
Size:
$50K - $3M
Sectors:
Agriculture, Health, Improved cooking, Off-grid solar, Other, Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)
Geography:
Sub-Saharan Africa (with a focus on West Africa, Indian Ocean, and Central Africa)
Application:
Open
Examples of GDC investees:
Jiro-Ve
Fund Name:
Kiva
Type:
Crowdfunded loans
Size:
$1 - $500K
Sectors:
Agriculture, Health, Improved cooking, Off-grid solar, Other, Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)
Geography:
Global
Application:
Open
Examples of GDC investees:
Bidhaa Sasa, Solar Solutions PNG, Hydrologic Social Enterprise Co. Ltd, EcoGen, Livelyhoods, Ilumexico, Solubrite, ATEC*, Nazava, Vitalite, Zonful, Rent to Own, Soluz Honduras
Fund Name:
Lendahand
Type:
Crowdfunded loans
Size:
$1.5M - $5M
Tranche-based credit facility over 1 to 1.5 years, 100K-1M per tranche
Sectors:
Agriculture, Improved cooking, Off-grid solar
Geography:
Global
Application:
Open
Examples of GDC investees:
upOwa, SolarWorks!, Sistema.bio, Vitalite, Oolu, Simusolar, Altech
Fund Name:
MercyCorps Ventures
Type:
Early-stage equity (pre-seed or seed round)
Size:
up to $500K
under $500K
Sectors:
Agriculture, Health, Improved cooking, Off-grid solar, Other, Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)
Geography:
East Africa, West Africa, Latam or Southeast Asia
Application:
Open
Examples of GDC investees:
Fund Name:
Nithio FI
Type:
Receivables and inventory backed financing
Size:
$250K - $1M
Sectors:
Off-grid solar
Geography:
East Africa, Nigeria
Application:
Open
Examples of GDC investees:
Fund Name:
OPES-LCEF
Type:
Patient capital
Size:
$50K - $400K
Sectors:
Agriculture, Health, Improved cooking, Off-grid solar, Other, Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)
Geography:
Predominantly East Africa and India
Application:
Open
Examples of GDC investees:
Sistema.bio, Nazava
Fund Name:
Persistent
Type:
Early stage equity / mezzanine debt
Size:
$50K - $500K
Also invests human capital alongside financial capital
Sectors:
Off-grid solar
Geography:
Sub-Saharan Africa
Application:
Open
Examples of GDC investees:
Oolu Solar, Solarworks!, upOwa, Zonful Energy
Fund Name:
Pioneer Facility
Type:
Debt (uncollateralized)
Size:
$100K - $500K
Sectors:
Improved cooking, Off-grid solar, Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)
Geography:
Southeast Asia. Focus countries: Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos
Application:
Open
Examples of GDC investees:
Fund Name:
Renewable Energy Performance Platform (REPP)
Type:
Debt, Equity
Size:
$200K - $5M
Sectors:
Off-grid solar
Geography:
Sub-Saharan Africa
Application:
Open
Examples of GDC investees:
UpOwa
Fund Name:
Roddenberry Foundation Catalyst Fund
Type:
Grants
Size:
$2.5K - $15K
Sectors:
Agriculture, Health, Improved cooking, Off-grid solar, Other, Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)
Geography:
Global
Application:
Open
Examples of GDC investees:
Energy One Africa
Fund Name:
SEED
Type:
Grants for SEED awardees only
Size:
up to $25K
Sectors:
Agriculture, Improved cooking, Off-grid solar, Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)
Geography:
Ghana, India, Indonesia, Malawi, South Africa, Thailand, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe
Application:
Annual awards scheme
Examples of GDC investees:
Green Impact Technologies, SPOUTS of Water, Kukula Solar, Pollinate Group, Solar Sister, Natfort Energy, Sunny Money
Fund Name:
Segal Family Foundation
Type:
Grants (for non-profit organizations) and debt or equity (for early-stage social enterprises)
Size:
$15K - $1M
$15K (average grant)
Sectors:
Agriculture, Health, Improved cooking, Off-grid solar, Other, Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)
Geography:
Africa (mostly East Africa)
Application:
Open
Examples of GDC investees:
Livelyhoods, Vitalite, Simusolar
Fund Name:
SIMA Angaza Distributor Finance Fund
Type:
Loans for users of Angaza platform
Size:
$100K - $500K
Sectors:
Off-grid solar
Geography:
Global
Application:
Open
Examples of GDC investees:
Altech Group, Deevabits Green Energy, Easy Solar
Fund Name:
SPARK+ Africa
Type:
Debt and mezzanine capital for early-stage post-revenue companies
Size:
$500K - $7M
Sectors:
Improved cooking, Off-grid solar
Geography:
Africa
Application:
Open
Examples of GDC investees:
Fund Name:
SunFunder
Type:
Debt
Size:
$250K - $5M
Sectors:
Off-grid solar
Geography:
Sub-Saharan Africa and India
Application:
Open
Examples of GDC investees:
SolarWorks!
Fund Name:
Trine
Type:
Debt
Size:
$100K - $10M
Framework agreements of €1K minimum, broken down into tranches of €100K-750K)
Sectors:
Off-grid solar
Geography:
Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia
Application:
Open
Examples of GDC investees:
Yellow solar, Vitalite
Fund Name:
Triple Jump (Energy Entrepreneurs Growth Fund, EEGF)
Type:
Mezzanine, equity and debt for early and growth-stage companies
Size:
$100K - $10M
Sectors:
Off-grid solar
Geography:
Sub-Saharan Africa
Application:
Open
Examples of GDC investees:
Fund Name:
USADF
Type:
Grants
Size:
up to $250K
Sectors:
Agriculture, Improved cooking, Off-grid solar
Geography:
Africa
Application:
Several windows a year
Examples of GDC investees:
Sky Power, Ecobora, M&NDA Company, Natfort Energy
Fund Name:
USAID Development Innovation Ventures
Type:
Grants
Size:
$100K - $5M
Sectors:
Agriculture, Health, Improved cooking, Off-grid solar, Other, Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)
Geography:
Global
Application:
Open
Examples of GDC investees:
Essmart, Elephant Energy, Tulaa, Nafa Naana, Potential Energy and Solar Sister
Fund Name:
VentureBuilder
Type:
Early stage capital (equity and quasi equity)
Size:
$50K - $500K
Early stage capital
Sectors:
Off-grid solar
Geography:
Africa
Application:
Examples of GDC investees:
Energy+
Fund Name:
Wajenzi
Type:
Crowdfunded equity investments for early-stage (post proof of concept)
Size:
$50K - $250K
Sectors:
Agriculture, Health, Improved cooking, Off-grid solar, Other, Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)
Geography:
Africa
Application:
Open
Examples of GDC investees: