Sun Exchange, a peer-to-peer solar leasing platform (network exchange model) has recently received a $3 million investment from the Africa Renewable Power Fund (ARPF), a private investment fund based in Mauritius and supported by the African Development Bank (AfDB).
The South African start-up Sun Exchange is obtaining funds for its expansion in Africa. The deal involves $3 million obtained from Africa Renewable Power Fund (ARPF), a private equity fund based in Mauritius and advised by ARCH Emerging Markets Partners. The funds were obtained as part of the closing of a $4 million Series A financing by Sun Exchange.
The money raised will enable the platform “to evolve its solution and expand into new markets across sub-Saharan Africa, enabling users of the platform to power schools, clinics, farms, cell towers, water treatment plants, businesses and other organizations across the continent with solar energy,” said Sun Exchange.
The South African start-up is operating with its platform where members are registered in almost 163 countries around the world. Sun Exchange provides solar energy to schools, clinics, farms, cell phone towers, water treatment plants, businesses, etc. But its modus operandi is different from that of other suppliers of solar photovoltaic systems.
In South Africa, where the start-up already has a portfolio of projects, its teams identify a company or organization that would like to be supplied with electricity via solar power. A team of engineers is then sent to the site for technical, economic, environmental and social studies. The validated project is represented on the platform in the form of solar cells. Platform members buy the batteries at a price of 50 South African rand (4 US dollars) each.
This participative financing allows the project to be carried out thanks to the local partners of the start-up. The company benefiting from the solar power plant pays a monthly bill. These costs are then paid back, in local currency or Bitcoin in the virtual portfolio created on the Sun Exchange platform, to each member who has purchased solar cells. This participatory financing method could accelerate the deployment of solar energy in Africa.
According to Sun Exchange, the $3 million raised from the Africa Renewable Power Fund (ARPF) will also support marketing activities, significantly increase the platform’s global user base, and make significant software enhancements to expand the platform’s capabilities and functionality, according to Sun Exchange.
“This step opens the next phase of Sun Exchange’s growth, which includes building our team, creating several new sustainable and clean energy jobs, and enabling our growing customer base around the world to further diversify their solar cell portfolio into new regions,” said Abraham Cambridge, president and founder of Sun Exchange.
Jean Marie Takouleu