Sun Exchange, the South African peer-to-peer, crypto-enabled solar leasing platform, has raised $3 million in fresh funding.
London-based private equity firm ARCH Emerging Markets Partners’ Africa Renewable Energy Fund invested the amount, marking the close of a $4 million Series A by Sun Exchange.
With the fresh capital in place, Sun Exchange plans to expand its services across Sub-Saharan Africa, grow its membership base, and hire more staff. The startup allows its members to own solar cells and sell the generated electricity to businesses and organizations such as schools, clinics, farms, and water plants.
One solar cell reportedly costs around $5, and Sun Exchange accepts payments in South African Rand and bitcoin. The startup generates revenues via margins on solar panel sales and fees on electricity generated and purchased.
Sun Exchange also has a reward token called SUNEX. It gives token holders some benefits, including discounted solar cell prices and priority access to solar projects.
The startup claims to have more than 17,000 members from 162 countries. Notably, its U.S. members do not receive any rental income and it is rather donated to charity. This is reportedly for avoiding securities laws in the U.S.
Sun Exchange was launched in 2015 and counts Adam Draper of Boost VC as one of its early investors.