CEFC pours $100 million more into Mike Cannon-Brookes-backed renewables finance firm Infradebt

- April 27, 2023 2 MIN READ
Federal government investment fund the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) has doubled down on its funding for Infradebt, tipping an additional $100 million into the ACT-based renewables financing firm, taking its total backing to $150 million.

Infradebt is a specialist infrastructure project finance fund manager/financier, providing capital for renewables and battery storage projects as well as social infrastructure, stepping in where traditional finance models don’t fit. It has financed nearly 30 projects to date, from solar farms to hospitals, schools and convention centres.

The CEFC co-invests alongside Infradebt managed funds in small-to-medium-sized renewable energy projects, with its investment mandate now extended to include larger projects up to 50 MW.

The latest funding comes 15 months after Atlassian cofounder Mike Cannon-Brookes backed Infradebt with $200 million from his private family VC firm Grok Ventures. That funding was complemented by an undisclosed “meaningful investment” by Cannon-Brookes for a minority stake in Infradebt.

The fintech has two funds – the Infradebt Ethical Fund (IEF), which finances Australian infrastructure projects with a focus on renewable energy and social infrastructure, and a recently launched a fund focused solely on grid scale energy storage – the Energy Transition Fund (ETF).  The IEF has returned around 6% since inception. The ETF will provide senior debt finance to 6-8 battery projects with a total capacity of 1.5-2GW over the next few years.

Infradebt CEO Alexander Austin said nine projects have been financed under the existing CEFC mandate.

“Infradebt welcomes the increased mandate commitment from the CEFC. This capital will boost Infradebt’s capacity to continue to provide debt finance to Australian renewable projects,” he said.

CEFC chief investment officer, renewables and sustainable finance, Monique Miller, said Australia has very ambitious renewable energy goals as part of its national commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

“This requires a substantial and sustained increase in investment in additional renewable energy generation, presenting exciting opportunities for private investors such as Infradebt’s managed funds and clients,” she said.

“This CEFC investment, with its focus on smaller scale generators, complements our focus on large-scale solar and wind generation, essential energy storage and grid transmission, all of which will play a critical role in powering our net zero future.”

NOW READ: Mike Cannon-Brookes tips $200 million into renewables finance company Infradebt