Banyan Infrastructure, a sustainable financing software platform, has secured a $25 million Series B funding round, bringing the company’s total funding to over $42 million.
Climate software investor Energize Ventures led the round of funding, with participation from new investors SE Ventures and Elemental Excelerator and existing investors VoLo Earth and Ulu Ventures. In addition, Juan Muldoon, partner at Energize, has joined Banyan’s board of directors.
Banyan aims to unlock capital for renewable infrastructure by making sustainable project finance fast, efficient and scalable. Its purpose-built project finance software enables banks, financiers and developers to automate and track complex project finance transactions with a unified risk and data management system.
“Because standardization is lacking for sustainable technology, risk averse investors are hesitant to move quickly in this relatively new industry. Our software focuses on reducing transaction costs and increasing transparency to create previously unseen speed and scale of project finance,” said Banyan cofounder and CEO Will Greene. “The support from Energize and our new investors helps unlock the rapid deployment of sustainable infrastructure that our planet needs.”
Despite the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act unlocking $369 billion in clean energy funding, investing in complex sustainable infrastructure projects has been hamstrung by manual and inefficient processes. Banyan’s technology replaces spreadsheets, email and varied documents with digitized loans and workflows while automating data ingestion, risk monitoring and contractual compliance for each loan. The result is faster financing and greater capital deployment with more efficiency, scale and liquidity across the deal lifecycle.
“The deployment of renewable energy assets, from large utility-scale projects to community developments and residential energy efficiency upgrades, requires well-functioning financing mechanisms. There are billions of dollars dedicated to financing the energy transition, but the process of underwriting, reporting, and managing project finance is often complex and inefficient,” said Muldoon. “We believe software holds the key to maximizing investment dollars and unlocking a capital efficiency flywheel.”
NY Green Bank, a $1 billion sustainable infrastructure investment fund and a division of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, has used Banyan to support its portfolio management activities. With nearly $2 billion in total financial commitments since inception, NY Green Bank manages a sizable portfolio spanning a variety of asset classes and borrower types.
“Renewable energy financing requires a high level of coordination and management across many different stakeholders,” said Lindsay Drogin, director at NY Green Bank and head of investment administration and portfolio support. “Banyan’s platform has been a critical tool to streamline our work and has allowed us to operate efficiently while managing risk and compliance. This has become especially important as we’ve grown our portfolio.
With this new investment, Banyan plans to more than double headcount and further develop the company’s proprietary software.
“Software is key to making the very nuanced and complex project financing process quicker and more profitable, especially given the unique challenges around financing renewable energy projects,” said Amanda Li, Banyan cofounder and chief operations officer. “These projects are far smaller and more distributed, which can lead to the underwriting and risk management process being too complex or too unprofitable with current timelines and overhead. Working at Generate Capital, I saw the limitations of the status quo firsthand and it severely limits the growth potential of our industry.”
Founded in 2018, Banyan Infrastructure experienced 700% year-over-year growth over the past year, securing partnerships with leading customers in infrastructure lending, investing and development, including SMBC and Standard Solar. The company also recently announced its participation in Elemental Excelerator, a nonprofit with an innovative model for funding climate tech deployment. To-date, Banyan is enabling billions of sustainable infrastructure investments across seven countries and thousands of projects.
— Solar Builder magazine