CrossBoundary Group, a renewable energy services and investment firm has received a minority investment from Brown Advisory to help it unlock capital to make a strong return and a lasting difference in underserved markets globally.
According to Elise Liberto, who led the deal for Brown Advisory, “Our investment was primarily driven by our strong belief in the team, our shared values and a wide range of strategic opportunities for collaboration in thought leadership and network expansion. As we worked with the CrossBoundary team, Dave Churchill, our CFO and COO, would remind us of the parallels between their firm and the early growth of Brown Advisory. We are excited to help CrossBoundary in its mission in whatever way we can.”
CrossBoundary Group, though CrossBoundary Energy Access (CBEA), launched in January 2019 to finance mini-grids for rural households and businesses. Earlier, CrossBoundary Energy joined forces with Solarcentury to offer financed solar solutions to a select portfolio of commercial and industrial customers operating in Africa.
CBEA also financed 60 mini-grids in Tanzania in partnership with PowerGen Renewable Energy, a mini-grid developer which has connected over 50,000 people since its launch in 2011.
CBEA signed a loan agreement with Camco Clean Energy’s Renewable Energy Performance Platform (REPP). CBEA’s initial $5.5 million investment will fund 60 mini-grids serving more than 34,000 people in rural homes and businesses in Tanzania.
CrossBoundary Energy Access had announced it would initially invest $16 million it raised from the Rockefeller Foundation into mini-grids serving 170,000 people, providing first-time power to homes and businesses. Its focus markets included Tanzania, Nigeria, and Zambia.
Recently CrossBoundary launched its investment platform, CrossBoundary Educational Infrastructure to provide affordable student housing and related infrastructure in East Africa. CrossBoundary also offered advisory support to Shelf Life, a pharmaceutical supply chain platform run by Field Intelligence on its $3.6 million Series A funding round.
Jake Cusack, co-founder of CrossBoundary Group said, “We are fortunate to have found such an aligned partner in Brown Advisory. Together, we look forward to pursuing our mission of bringing private capital to underserved markets, which might be considered frontier today, but will be the mainstream growth stories of tomorrow.
CrossBoundary Group is a mission-driven investment firm serving underserved markets globally and Brown Advisory is one of the largest privately-held U.S. investment management firms, with responsibility for over $100 billion in client assets.
In Kenya, CrossBoundary Energy operates a 600 kWp solar power plant at Unilever Tea Kenya at the company’s Kericho tea plantation.
“We expect that our partnership with CrossBoundary will provide us, and our clients, with increased access to the frontier of sustainable and inclusive investment opportunities,” said Brown Advisory CEO, Mike Hankin, “Investors all over the world are realizing how the intersection of financial, social and environmental ideas can lead to better investment results. Historically, many investors believed they needed to make a trade-off between returns and values. But over many years we have found that our focus on sustainability has contributed positively to returns.