21 March, 2023 Member article

Launch of Gaia Energy Impact Fund II

Paris, 21 March 2023Schneider Electric, Capelan, Capital Croissance and Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P) team up with Gaia Impact team to launch Gaia Energy Impact Fund II, a venture capital fund specialising in the energy transition in Africa and the support of entrepreneurs with high environmental and social impact.

Gaia Impact team, Capital Croissance, Schneider Electric, Capelan and I&P, aware of the challenge represented by the access to energy in Africa, are launching Gaia Energy Impact Fund II (GEIF II), an investment fund that meets the stringent impact guidelines of Article 9 of the SFDR regulation. This fund, which targets €80M in commitments, will bring together an agile coalition of entrepreneurs, families and family-offices, companies, and institutional investors willing to reconcile financial return, social impact and environmental impact.

The GEIF II fund will be managed by Capital Croissance, an AMF-approved management company, while the Gaia Impact team will act as exclusive advisor. Schneider Electric and Capelan will each invest €15M. Investisseurs & Partenaires will bring its expertise on the different countries of the African continent and technical assistance to the Gaia Impact team.

Gaia Impact Fund II will benefit from the experience gained by the Gaia Impact team. In 2017, Hélène Demaegdt created Gaia Impact Fund I, financed by the French family office Capelan, with the aim of acting for the climate and catalysing private investment in the energy sector in Africa and the rest of the world. She then put together a team of entrepreneurs and expert investors to finance and support start-ups and SMEs active in the decentralised renewable energy value chain.

The GEIF II fund will invest, in equity and quasi-equity, between €500k and €5M in around twenty companies in the early (Seed and Series A) or growth phase (Series B). The majority of investments will be made in companies operating in Africa (up to 15% in other emerging countries) in the sectors of energy access, productive use of energy, electric mobility, new energies and enabling technologies. It aims to bring energy to 4M people, create 20,000 jobs while saving 4MT of CO2. These goals are a key component of the investment team’s financial incentive.

The coalition targets an initial closing of €40M in 2023 and a final closing at the first half of 2024 for a total target amount of €80M.

Hélène Demaegdt, President-Founder of Gaia Impact: «We are delighted to be joined by new partners. Thanks to them, our action in favor of the energy transition in Africa takes a new dimension. We are convinced that this new coalition of expert and complementary actors aligned on the same vision will allow the Gaia Impact team to strengthen its social and environmental impact, by promoting the conditions of economic».

Christophe Poline, Director Sustainable Investments of Schneider Electric: “GIF II is a great opportunity for Schneider Electric to reinforce its commitment to promote clean and efficient energy for the development of communities in Sub-Saharan Africa. This commitment is part of Schneider Electric’s actions for a just transition worldwide. With our experience in solidarity and impact investing, we are convinced that the partnership with Gaia Impact, I&P and Capital Croissance will bring the efficiency and professionalism necessary to achieve the project’s impact objectives.”

Eric Neuplanche, President-Founder of Capital Croissance: « We were seduced by the achievements and the great professionalism of the Gaia Impact team since 2017 and even more by the very strong environmental and social ambition of this impact fund: over the life of the fund, we aim to create 20,000 jobs, give access to energy to 4,000,000 people who are currently without it and save 4,000,000 tonnes of CO2 by substituting polluting energy with decarbonised energy. The entire Capital Croissance team is very proud and extremely motivated to be associated with the Gaia Impact, I&P and Schneider Electric team. »

Jeremy Hajdenberg, Co-CEO of Investisseurs & Partenaires: « “Impressed by the dynamism and expertise of the Gaia Impact team, we are determined to bring I&P’s complementary perspective and to implement numerous synergies on the ground. Acting in favor of renewable energies in Africa is an obvious urgency and we are proud to participate, with Schneider Electric and Capital Croissance, in this initiative supporting entrepreneurs who are transforming Africa and implementing innovative solutions every day.”