Purpose: Developing countries are increasingly looking to private sector investment for infrastructure development. Successful development of private infrastructure projects, however, depends on adequate availability of long-term debt to complement private sector equity. As domestic bond markets in many emerging countries are not very deep, availability of long-term debt funding for infrastructure has been limited. Recently, a new form of financial intermediation has emerged in India with the creation of infrastructure debt funds (IDFs) to create capital pools for long-term debt funding. This paper aims to analyse the effectiveness of IDFs for financing infrastructure projects. Design/methodology/approach: This paper uses a case study approach. The case studies were written using both secondary and primary information. Secondary information was obtained from various sources such as policy papers, websites and other published sources. Primary information was obtained from interviews with the top management of three IDFs. Information obtained from multiple sources was triangulated for consistency and correctness. Findings: IDFs have emerged as an effective intermediation mechanism for attracting long-term capital by offering a new investment product with appropriate risk-adjusted returns. For the fund seekers, IDFs are able to provide long-term capital at lower rates and higher flexibility. Unlike commercial banks, IDFs are able to add value to the projects apart from funding by periodic monitoring of the projects. Practical implications: Creating new forms of financial intermediation can help in reducing the financing gap for infrastructure projects, especially in emerging countries. Originality/value: IDFs have been analysed from a perspective of financial intermediation. The effectiveness of IDFs in bridging the funding shortfall has been evaluated from multiple perspectives. © 2016, © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.