Sun Exchange, a South African blockchain-based peer-to-peer renewable energy startup has raised $3 million in its latest Series-A funding round from ARCH Emerging Markets Partners.
The new raise marks the close of the $4 million (67 million Rand) Series-A funding round for the startup.
Sun Exchange allows anyone globally to invest in its projects through a crowdsale for its solar cells. Investors earn lease rental payments on a monthly basis from businesses and organizations running the solar cells. These monthly payments can be remitted either via local currency or Bitcoin into your Sun Exchange wallet.
According to an announcement on the company website, the new funding round will enable the startup ‘unlock the next phase of growth, enabling it to expand its solar powering schools, clinics, farms, cell towers, water plants, businesses, and other organizations across Sub-Saharan Africa.’
The raise will also be used ‘further diversify its clients’ solar cell portfolios across regions and industries.’
In 2019, Sun Exchange more than doubled its community size who are currently over 17, 000 across 162 countries. In addition, the company project portfolio nearly tripled in size in 2019 while facilitating over 31 schools, businesses, and organizations in South Africa alone.
The next crowdsale on Sun Exchange is to power Boland Wine Cellar, an internationally recognised wine cellar. They require over 87,000 solar cells to power their operation. Each cell costs ZAR 81.00 (~USD 5.00) with an internal rate of return of 12.48%. https://t.co/oWLPdkxkig pic.twitter.com/4v8txTPjEW
— The Sun Exchange (@TheSunExchange) May 27, 2020
Speaking about the new raise, Abe Cambridge, CEO and Founder, Sun Exchange, said:
“There has never been a more critical time to accelerate the Sun Exchange mission of connecting the entire world to the sun, as socio-economic and energy systems across the world are on the brink of being reset and redefined.”
According to William Barry, CEO, ARCH Emerging Markets Partners:
“Sun Exchange is positioned to emerge as an enabling force in the imminent global energy and economic transformation, with a first-of-a-kind platform that harnesses the power of a united global community to unlock the potential of distributed solar power in emerging markets.
We are thrilled to partner with Sun Exchange on this journey to expand the success the company has already seen in South Africa throughout ARPF’s target markets in sub-Saharan Africa.”
Sun Exchange CEO is also confident that bitcoin mining is more energy efficient over the alternative banking system. He hopes bitcoin mining will eventually be solar powered since the energy that solar cells produce over their lifetime “is far greater than the energy it took to mine the Bitcoin that purchased them, creating a positive energy balance.”
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