Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is there an application fee?

Unless we have to prepare your project’s summary on your behalf (writing, research, strategic advice), there is no up-front cost involved. Applying for pre-approval from any of our development finance lenders is free. We also offer free pre-qualification in the form of a financeability report using our In3 Capital Partners tool, RAIN. We do not charge any application or documentation fees that you might encounter with other companies. You have the flexibility to pre-apply through us and, upon receiving a high enough score, our partners will provide confirmation of a match from one or more investors.  You still decide which sources of capital and terms you prefer.

2. What are the basic requirements for project finance?

Complete our RAIN assessment and find out.  For short-term financing, such as working capital lines of credit, trade finance or venture finance bridge loans (any capital required for less than 3 years), ask us.
We can help with these transactions if from sources that we regularly use, such as private impact investment funds, regional development banks or Export-Import banks of select countries.  See “What In3 won’t do.”

Basic requirements to qualify for our project finance lending program (senior debt):

  • Minimum financing amount is $2,000,000.  $2.5-3 million is better. Maximum is $300 million from each lender, or $900 million from all sources.
  • Loans must be for at least 3 years and typically not more than 20 years (can finance up to the length of a power purchase/offtake agreement, for example).  No early payment penalty.  Longer loans ease cash flow; shorter loans provide better interest rates.
  • Startups, expansions, renovations, refurbishments, energy efficiency retrofits, … all are welcome.

3. What types of capital (asset classes) can be arranged?

Our specialization is the debt component of project finance, but we recognize that some companies have ambitious business plans that call for more debt than they can reasonably obtain.  For others, they would rather not rely on loans when equity investors might be willing to provide “patient capital” for the potential upsides from their future exit. Accordingly, we can arrange debt, equity and various other forms of non-bank finance such as quasi-equity (has some elements of equity, such as more flexible payment schedules, plus some of debt), convertible debt, mezzanine debt, revenue contracts, M&A/buyouts, and more.  We are also capable of securing early or seed-stage financing to conduct feasibility studies either through angel investors, impact investors or development finance institutions offering zero- or low-interest (concessionary) loans, forgivable loans or grants.  Check our “industry sweet spot” then talk with us about your requirements.

4. How long does it take?  How soon will I know if my loan application is approved?

Depends on which program you use.  Initial approval — validation that the project is well qualified for reasonably attractive debt finance — usually takes a few weeks.  How long to get a check written? Longer.  Depends on the desired source of capital as well as the amount.  If from investors at In3 Capital Partners can be as fast as 90 days to closing.  If from a developmental finance institution, loans can take 4-6 months, some even more, to secure the loan funds.  In3 has a proven track record of reducing the time it takes by roughly one third  — often the difference of many months — than if you attempt to “go it alone.”  Fast-track programs are available in most regions.  Still count on at least a quarter or so, depending on your state of readiness.  Loans get bogged down in legal challenges, due diligence issues, or other factors that we can safely help you avoid.

We offer an assessment tool that takes out most of the risks — a free service that helps you determine then summarize the project’s strengths, improvement opportunities and keys to success. This thoughtful and clear approach asks you to score then summarize your project — or we’ll help you create an effective summary — and put the main elements on the table for open and honest feedback from one or more selected investors. This collaborative approach is thanks to a strategic alliance with development bank representatives and open channels of communication with private sources. In3 can get you answers right away, once you’re prepared.

Some of the best and lowest-cost sources of capital (such as government-sponsored international development loans), offering the lowest interest rates and most reasonable terms, are also quite interested in the details.  Development banks are about the same — just as detail-oriented and thorough — with slightly higher interest rates.

Private investors, debt or equity, vary greatly in their due diligence and contracting.  “Angels with a checkbook” can make a decision within a month or so, but that’s generally the exception.  Most institutional investors take 6 months, more or less, with significant amounts of time (after the first 2-4 months of assessment and Q&A) taken up by handling policy clearances, the details of legal matters (such as perfecting liens against assets, asking for bank verifications, or obtaining audited financial statements) and other documentation.  Sometimes a short-term bridge loan can be used to unlock funding in advance of the disbursement once the investment commitment letter has been obtained.

5.  What does In3 charge?

Let’s discuss what work is needed, and who will do what, before attempting to pinpoint appropriate fees-for-service.  We rarely let money stand in the way of supporting a project with developmental impacts.  That said, we typically charge industry-standard rates for fundraising, with our customary fees equal to roughly half the formula used by our peers, plus a modest retainer.

6.  How do we get started?

Is your project is fairly close to bankable, ready for financing, and invest-able (find out how you stack up)?  After using our fast assessment tool to obtain your bankability score, consider these program options before approaching us to help. If you are reasonably well organized, prepared, and thorough in planning and presenting your project’s strengths and risks, we ask that you contact us after summarizing the basic parameters of your project using this intake form.
If you know there’s more work to do, the key is to get started early and plan in sufficient time, assessing your team’s current strengths and any essential experience missing from your team.  This is also where we might come in … you can hire us on a temporary basis to make up for such gaps, then you can raise money much more predictably, without having to guess at the lender’s expectations.
More tips (Q&A) on how to qualify for project finance, or view the process steps.  
For other services, see overview or select any of these: Raising Money | Loan Origination | Risk Mitigation | Strategic Advisory | Coaching & Education.
Best of success to you and your company!